October 18th, 2004
So I'm now back among the living.
pun fully intended.
My grandfather was an interesting man. Inventor, Pilot, curmudgeon...
He was a tinkerer all his life, always coming up with something weird and new. Then, in 1998, his wife (my grandmother) died of cancer, and he more or less died too.
But, being a stubborn bastard, he lived on for 6 years in spite of himself. He had a lady-friend, and they were really good for eachother. They both had someone to do stuff with. He wasn't his old self, but he was a little better.
October the thirteenth, he finally died for good.
So we had the funeral for my grandfather.
We're a slightly weird family, so we grabbed a shovel and a post digger, the close relatives and friends, went out into the graveyard, and we dug him a hole.
He was cremated, so it wasn't a huge hole.
We put him in, some words were said, some tears shed and some laughter shared.
We filled in the hole, stomped the dirt down, and had a champagne toast.
Yeah, we're a weird family. but in a good way.
I've been trying to come up with a good eulogy, but I think my dad summed him up best.
"To Rich, who did it his way."
He was a stubborn old bastard, and a charming guy as well. when he wasn't being downright offensive.
But he never let anyone else tell him what to do.
I'll miss him.
Here's to you Poppy.
I can't say I believe in an afterlife, but I sure hope you're back with your wife, and fishing on some great river in the hereafter.
i'm glad you have such good memories of him. i hope my family is just as weird when i go --what a fitting tribute.
sad to hear.
what an amazing way of handling the burial rite though... i think i'd like that when i finally expire: my family bucking up and participating instead of just observing.
have a beer on me, brother.
Thanks, I do believe I will.
There's a 25oz chimay blue in my closet as we speak.
|Date:||October 18th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)|| |
That's as good a eulogy as I ever hope to have. :)
It also seems very fitting that, for a man who did things his way, his family buried him their way.
and so we did.
He hated drawn-out social occasions, I think he would have approved of this though.
that's a wonderful tribute.
|Date:||October 18th, 2004 02:20 pm (UTC)|| |
your family sounds neat; good to be able to participate in a way that feels right. my family still hasn't had a ceremony of any kind for my step-grandfather and step-grandmother. Their ashes have been buried by the cemetary groundskeepers, but my step-father (an only child) hasn't wanted to have any kind of rite, and everyone is respecting his wishes (though we're lacking that semblance of closure that comes after ritual)... love you, handbaskethead!
no rite at all? that's just weird to me. I'd have to do something...
|Date:||October 19th, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC)|| |
well, i've been to the grave on my own several times, brought flowers a couple times, and my sister wanted to bring herself and her kids there while she was visiting, so we went and had a picnic (in the Spanish style) and brought flowers... it was lots of fun. my step-family is not very religious (that is, not religious at all) and i guess my step-dad is an only child and the others in his family didn't have very much to do with my step-grandpop and -grandmom in the final years, so it would be a little odd for anyone else in the family to arrange a ceremony. Yah, it's not what I would do, but everyone's different!
|Date:||October 19th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC)|| |
i guess it's technically a Mexican-only thing to celebrate the Day of the Dead with a picnic, but I learned it in "Spanish class" so from thence the error...
We'll have to swap grandparent stories when we come up for Thanksgiving.
good to see you back online!
I talked to the Liz the other day, but haven't talked to you in forever.
what's your e-mail? I tried sending you one the other day, but I guess I got it wrong. :o(
wow... i dont know you at all and i didnt know him at all, buuut you managed to make me cry, just because i know what its like to lose someone, and being able to put closure to it in your own way means a ton.. and you reminded me of that, so thanks.
.. yup i know, random but it works :)
well hello, thanks for the nice message.