Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Lessons from Three Funerals

by heather

In about six weeks we had three funerals. The travel and tears were pretty stressful, but I learned a few things that I wanted to remember and I thought I would share. The first funeral was for my best friend’s mother. She died after a ten year battle with malignant melanoma as well as several other health problems. It was a really nice funeral. I hope that someday my funeral is half as peaceful and well-organized. I went in expecting to cry, my best friend had lost her mother and I didn’t have the words to make it better, but I didn’t expect to bawl as hard as I did through the whole thing. I was really sad that I had not had the opportunity to know her better and know her before her illness. She was really an amazing woman. Her are some things about her that stood out to me.

  • She didn’t complain about her misfortunes. If someone had good reason to complain I think she would, but she didn’t. She was optimistic and made the best of the days she had.
  • She loved her five children and they all knew it. She spent lots of time talking and laughing with them. And I laughed so hard I started crying again when one of her sons told a story about her farting and laughing.
  • She was so grateful for her children and cherished the time that she had with them. Since then I have really been trying to do the same with my own children. If that means that I neglect my blog and my housework a little, so be it.
  • She was always busy. Anytime that she was watching tv or a movie she was also working on a project. She showed people that she loved them through the gifts that she made. It made me think although she didn’t know me that well she took the time to make a gift for my wedding and a beautiful blanket when Thing 1 was born. I feel honored that she would take some of her precious time to do that for me.

While sitting at her funeral I was thinking, perhaps I should give up this blog. Although it’s fun, it’s very time consuming and I do have many other things to do. But as I thought about it, if for no one else I am writing this for my daughter. If something were to happen to me (and I hope that it doesn’t) I want her to able to know where to find our favorite family recipes. I want her to know the tricks I used to keep the house clean and stretch a budget. I want her to know the secrets her mom used to make life a little easier. If When, nothing ever happens to take me from her this may be a good place for her to refer to when she takes her first stabs at running her own household. And if the things I write here are helpful to anyone else along the way, all the better.

A few weeks after this funeral my husband’s grandfather died. He had had health problems for a few years and had been on hospice for a few days, so we were expecting him to go some time, but not quite that fast. The day before he died his wife went into the hospital with pneumonia and two weeks after he died she passed also. Now it was very hard on my husband and all of his family to lose both grandparents (or parents as the case my be) so close together, but you worry a little less about them. You don’t have one left behind in their loneliness. They have each other. And when I get to the point that my grandchildren are grown, that might be nice to just naturally go with the one I love.

 We had been waiting for Super Grandma (as she is affectionately known by my children) to get out of the hospital before we made any firm plans for the funeral. We had decided to just go and have a memorial service for Super Grandpa and were literally getting ready to go when we received the news that Super Grandma had died too. So we had a double funeral the following weekend.
 It was the first non-LDS funeral that I have ever attended and I really liked how after the minister said his part and we sung a few hymns, they let those in attendance get up and say a few words. It was cool to hear the stories that other people shared about them.
  A few things about Super Grandma:

  • One of her former high school students called her “a force of nature”. I thought that was pretty awesome.
  • Her house felt so completely empty without her.
  • She had a reputation for being dependable and for reaching out to others.

A few things about Super Grandpa:

  • He was stubborn, but in a good way. If he decided that he was going to do something, you could consider it done.
  • He built his own house as well as many other things (he was a shop teacher by profession).
  • He read many books and encouraged others to read also.

With driving back and forth to California twice, my husband and I had lots of time to talk about this while the kids were napping. We decided that someday when we have more money in savings, we’d like to buy a piece of land, slightly removed from society (but not so removed that things to do aren’t within an easy distance) build our own house, raise a garden and a few chickens, like his grandparents did, and be mostly self-sufficient. That’s the dream.

    2 Responses to “Lessons from Three Funerals”

    1. Momza says:

      I have found that while it takes a death to go to a funeral, I seem to learn more about living in that setting than any other place.
      The reminder is that life is short and the time we have each day should be spent in loving more and loving deeply…that's how legacies are created.
      Thank you for sharing what you learned.

    2. Jocelyn Christensen says:

      neat post!

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