The end, and what happens next.

We buried grandpa today.

This was my first funeral. And the first time I’d been present for an honor guard, the three rounds of weapons fire, the folding and presenting of the flag, and the three symbolic rounds given to my grandmother. Scott took that picture.

I spoke at the funeral. I broke down. I met Grandpa’s niece Sheila for the first time. I missed meeting Grandpa’s brother, Forrest.

I made meatballs for the wake, and drank Dead Guy Ale. We talked with Grandma about what was coming next, and I’m worried.

Before we went to Austin Funeral Home, I talked with Grandma about her outfit, whether it was appropriate to wear yellow. She said this was her best outfit, and she didn’t want to upset anyone with it. I told her that she could wear whatever she damn well pleased.

I wish my grandfather was still here. I’m afraid for my grandma. She wants to learn everything she needs to learn to be independent. But it’s all very difficult for her.

I tried to find a pillbox for her today, and the one I found was just too hard to use. I set up speed dialing on the cel phone and put the phone on a special table for her so that she’d always know where it was. They’re going to set up a land-line, but everything just takes too long.

I talked with my sister about what to do next. She lives the closest, and talked about bringing Grandma to her church, trying to get some help for the next few weeks. I keep thinking words like “transition” and “opportunity”, and I feel like such an asshole. My grandma is afraid, and I live really far away.

I got a sheaf of paper, and wrote a note to Grandma asking her to write for me. I promised to type everything up and send it back to her.

A few people from the church came to the wake, drank punch and paid their respects. Our cousins drove back to Spokane.

We stayed, and my sister’s boyfriend sang songs on the porch. I talked with my brother about his life now, and how he’s commuting to Butte for work on gas lines with the pipefitter’s union, and how his daughter is back in Kalispell. I reminisced about our father’s welding, and how he’d always been offended when clerks at trailer rental places questioned the structural integrity of his strange, custom-welded bumper.

Scott played with his nephew, I sat with Grandma.

The weather was perfect and the sky was clear.

I’m still up, writing lists. Wondering if I found all the important things, and wishing that I had more time.

2 thoughts on The end, and what happens next.

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  1. Your writing is beautiful. Your thoughts are beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing them.

    I’ve been there, many of us have, and you’re not alone in this even if it seems like that. You have an epic network of friends, lean on them and they will support you in what needs to be done.

    [Seven paragraphs from the end, "sheaf if paper" should be "sheaf of paper". The grammar Nazi in me will not sleep.]

    John

  2. I’m glad for your grandmother you were there to support her. Your writing is beautiful – from the heart. Funerals are challenging and thought-provoking moments. We all see our future at those.