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funeral

Leander

Grandma’s funeral

Today we said our final goodbyes to my beloved grandmother. It was quite an emotional rollercoaster ride for me, to say the least. After a short night of sleep and feeling restless and filled with anxiety, my parents picked me up early in the morning to drive to my grandma’s home where she has been peacefully resting in her own room since she passed last week.

I got to see her one more time and I was happy to see she looked like she was finally in peace. Being the sensitive being that I am I couldn’t stop myself from shedding lots of tears.

I had another final glimpse of my grandma after she was put in her casket. With a white rose in her hands, looking like she’s sleeping, I laid my final eyes on her for the very last time before the casket closed, with the thoughts that I will never ever see her again in the physical world.

Along with my cousins we put her casket in the hearse, covered with beautiful arrangement of flowers from my grandma’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family drove to the crematorium where friends and other relatives joined us for a service honouring my grandmother, filled with lovely words, photo visuals and memories. As the service came to an end, the direct family gathered around the casket for the very last goodbye. I put my hand on the casket while tears were rolling down my cheeks.

My sweet grandma. The only grandma I had left. Lived to be 95 years old. I will miss her so much! She’s always been the best grandma to me. Always spoiling me. She lived a full life. I will always cherish the memories I have, for the rest of my life. She’s finally reunited with my grandpa, after almost 30 years. And they are both watching over their loved ones. I do believe that.

I love you, my sweet grandma!

Leander

Life and death

This past Tuesday I went to a funeral. It was pretty overwhelming. So many feelings and thoughts went through me. The funeral was from a girl who I went to elementary school with. I was in the same class as her older brother and she was one or two grades behind me. I remember going to their house often during break time, as well as after school for dinner. Our parents are still ’til this day good friends.

She passed away after battling with cancer for nearly two years. It’s sad. I knew she had cancer, but deep inside I had hope for her. I always felt that she would be okay. Unfortunately she lost her battle and passed away on September 30th. I haven’t seen her in many years, but our parents saw and got together every now and then for birthdays or just for dinners. As we were growing older we all had our own lives.

When my parents called me last week to inform her she passed away I was so stunned. I mean, my parents kept me up to date with the progress and information they received from her parents. In a way, I guess I was in denial for some reason. As mentioned, I felt she would be okay because why would she leave behind her husband and two little kids? I guess I was also in denial because it would have been something unreal. She’s only two years younger than I am. She turned 33 in August.

My parents showed me the card, the invite for her funeral. It had a little message mentioned on it, written by herself. I guess she was fully prepared to be departed from this earth. The message said that it felt to her like she was running a marathon, but failed. That her candle was lit, but blown off. That she had lots of pain, yet a lot of joy in the last moments of her life. And most importantly, that she was loved.

Reading that message on the card made me cry my eyes out.

I was talking to my parents about it and I said how I remembered the times when we were little kids, when I would come over to their house for dinner, watch cartoons with her and her brother. I even remember playing with her and her Barbie dolls. I was about 10 years old. My parents and I would visit them up north where they were vacationing at they camping trailer. We would have barbecues at their house during the summer. They always had barbecues on their fire place. And while the grown up were having their chats, we would go upstairs and play computer games or watch television in their parents’ bedroom.

It feels so unreal. I still think about it and it’s been two days after the funeral. About life and death.

The funeral itself was a great service and I’m sure it was exactly what she wanted it to be. When we arrived to the church I heard the music playing. It was Adele’s Someone Like You. Gave me goosebumps! Near the end of the service the song November Rain by Guns ‘n Roses was played, as her request. Not a typical song to be played at a funeral, but I get it. The song even gave me more emotions.

What made me even more sad was seeing her two little girls, age 3 and 5. They were playing around, looking like they had no idea was going on. Trying to just be and live in that moment the best way they know how to, I guess, while their mother was laying in a coffin. But I felt a sense of confusion for them, which is heartbreaking. They’re so young.

This whole experience was overwhelming and draining for me, personally. I had spoken to my parents about this. Life is so short, and often so unfair. It made me think about life and death, and about my own life. It just feels so unreal to me. Like a nightmare. She was at the prime of her life, having a family, with two little girls who will grow up without their mother.

Makes me think that with all the setbacks and chaos in my own life, there’s always someone out there who has it way worse. I mentioned this to my parents and my mom said that we all should just not worry about the things that makes us feel down. To just live life to the fullest, they best way you know how to, and just be with the people who you love and who love you. To do what you love to do.

I don’t know. The past two days have drained me so much I had to blog about it and express my feelings and thoughts. I just cannot imagine the pain and suffer she had to go through. Alongside her family. It just saddens me and it hits me to the core.

I am sure she is in a better place right now, without any pain and suffering. And that she’s flying with the angels, who will watch over her two kids and her husband.

It kinda feels like another wake up call for me, I guess. Life is so damn short. We often go through life thinking we deserve way more than what we have today. What if you already have what you need?

Something to think about… That’s all I have to say for now…

Rest in peace, Petra.

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