I drove back to my hometown in west Texas two weekends ago for my grandmother’s funeral. She passed early in February and we had the funeral two weeks later so family could all come into town. It was held in Midland where she lived most of her life. It’s where both my parents have lived their entire lives with the exception of college.
It was my first funeral for someone I truly knew.
When I heard of her death, the news felt bittersweet. She had dementia and Alzheimer’s for more than 4 years. The disease took away her identity and she had essentially no quality of life for so long. I’m glad it ended for her. It was a mercy for her and her time had come. I felt relief upon seeing her at the service, no longer stuck in the terrible state.
The funeral was well done, with great speeches from my family and her friends. Though a sad occasion, it provided a chance for much of our family to reunite together, all in the same city for once. We live in so many cities – Austin, Houston, Midland, Buffalo, Denver. It was amazing and fun to see cousins and uncles and have everyone over at my parents home the next day. We celebrated and drank and laughed. Any sadness left and joy filled the remainder of the weekend.
My grandmother was a good yet imperfect woman who raised 4 boys. She had some faults, but had many strengths. After reflecting on her life and speaking with all those who attended her funeral and graveside service, I realized one striking attribute about her life. It was the most commendable notions I’d ever contemplated and one that I sincerely hope to equal when my life comes to its last page:
She kept great company and had wonderful friends and acquaintances. I was struck by the realization that she had so many good people involved in her life that cared about her. I couldn’t think of one person of questionable character in attendance at the ceremony or service. That is a great achievement and trait about her life that I respect most, now that she is gone.