And your wife of 37 years and 9 months, only due to her passing before you.
Today is my grandfather’s funeral. Actually, technically, he is my step-grandfather.
His funeral is today at 11am.
It is about a four and a half to five-hour drive from my home, one way, depending on traffic…and I am not there, nor will I be.
After much texting and phone calls late yesterday and last night with my family, that was my final decision.
I am not going.
This is my grandfather’s obituary (I deleted any specific telling details) –
Blank, 89, of blank passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at blank Hospital. He was the husband of the late Gloria blank.
Mr. blank was born in Boston, Mass., on April 10, 1928, was the son of the late blank and blank. He was a member of blank Presbyterian Church, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and a former helicopter pilot for the Ontario Hydro Co.
He is survived by a granddaughter, blank of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada; a brother, blank of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada; three great-grandchildren, Jason, Alex, and Madison blank; a son-in-law, blank of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He was preceded in death by a daughter, blank.
A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at the Blank Family Cemetery, on blank Rd., in blank by the Rev. Blank.
Outside of his brother who is 80, my grandfather knew the rest of these other people for about five years. Tops.
My grandmother and Sandy were married in January of 1979.
So. What about his other four grandchildren, and what about their children?
I am the oldest.
That means Sandy has been in my life for 38 years, and 36 years for my sister, and our cousins…..I am not sure how much younger they are than us, but they had to have known him for at least 28-30 years, If not more.
And our cousins and Aunt & Uncle were much closer to our grandparents in the later years. They spent many annual holidays with them at their home.
My dad, my uncle and my aunt…they have known Sandy for those 38 years too, on an adult level.
Sandy passed away on Monday, April 17th.
My sister and I did not find out about it until Friday, April 21st.
At first I had great peace.
He was no longer alone, outside of a caretaker coming in a few times a week, because he (and my grandmother) had lived out in the middle of nowhere for decades.
None of us could easily just pop in to check on them or say hi.
And because the only listed granddaughter in his obituary, who he has only known for 5 years, who also happens to now be his sole heir aka the one calling the shots about his final resting place and the date and time of his funeral….. My sister and I did not know the final details regarding his funeral until Monday, May 1st in the evening.
Um, his funeral is on May 3rd (today) at 11am out in the middle of nowhere which equals pretty significant driving time to get there, let alone including the time to drive home and trying to take time off from work on the spur of the moment.
The thing that I am most upset about is the decision to bury him “at the Blank Family Cemetery.”
There is a small family cemetery on the estate BUT he will be the very first of HIS family to be buried there.
That is a nice way of saying we are not going to fly your step-grandfather’s remains, who we have only known for five years, down to Texas to be buried beside your grandmother (wife of 37 years and nine months) even though there is a paid plot waiting for him next to her.
Some of his last words, as I have been told, heard by several people at different time were to bury him in the estate’s cemetery…to save money for his granddaughter to inherit.
For me this has nothing to do with money, at least not for myself.
Sure, I sincerely hoped my dad and my uncle would receive an inheritance alongside Sandy’s only blood related granddaughter because Sandy and grandmother built a life together for 37+ years and it should be shared with all the heirs.
But for me, this is more a matter of honor and respect.
Even though I personally want to be cremated and released in the wind (preferably in a really cool and awe-inspiring place!), I believe that once a person dies, their spirit is free.
But if you have been married 37+ years, and burial is your method of choice, if possible the two should be buried together.
Our side of the family, as of late as yesterday, was willing to try to raise the money to send Sandy’s remains to TX to be with my grandmother, even though none of us have that money to spend, we would have done so to honor and respect the sacred bond of a lifelong marriage.
But c’est la vie, such is life in French.
Thirty minutes from now my grandfather will be buried miles and miles, and states and states away from my grandmother.
I won’t be there.
I sent the largest and most expensive red rose arrangement I have ever sent to anyone…..and I will honor him from my home.
My eyes are practically swollen shut from crying so much in the last 24 hours, hence me not going into work today even though I chose not to go to the funeral.
My face looks like I have gone ten rounds and have been beaten three times over by the world’s greatest boxing champ at present.
I really don’t want to have to explain this to anyone.
I will admit I am a little irritated with Sandy right about now.
But no matter where he is buried, or whatever happens…
I truly hope he is at peace, that he is with my grandmother and that he knows how much her side of the family, aka us, loves him.
I love you.