Monday, May 24, 2004

The Viewing

As I sit here at my grandfathers computer, probably for the last time, I am once again reminded of the times he would call me after 10.30pm, when he was stuck at his computer......needing some help....and I had to give it....
Tonight was the viewing for my grandfather. It started at 6pm,with family. At 7pm, the retirement home in which he has lived for 14 years had a small service, followed by a public viewing.
It was kinda weird, seeing him like that...with makeup on. I remember all the times he told me that I didn't need so much makeup. Tonight I thought the same thing about him. Wouldn't he chuckle if he knew.
The room seemed large enough for a substantial gathering, but as the service started and people began to file in, I continually looked to the back door, to see the line that never ended. The service consisted of person, after person (quite old, and slow I might add) talking about how grandpa loved people, how he changed lives, how he made a difference. People he led to the Lord, people he baptized, people he married. He led a Bible study, he led the orchestra. They loved him.
And when it was all over, over 450 people had filed by his body, to say goodbye. Over 450 people tried to hug me or shake my hand. And when it was all over, he was still gone, and I kept going back to the coffin, looking, trying to understand that he will never be back....trying to understand that this is to be a celebration, not an ending. But for me, it is an ending. An ending of reading flare magazines together...and ending of hanging out with him as he sat in chemo. An ending of him making us share at the Christmas gathering. It seems such a short time ago, at our Christmas gathering...that he spoke of what this year might bring, and how he might not be around much longer. An ending.
Tomorrow is the funeral. And I will cry again. And I will sing the songs he asked me to sing...and I will celebrate his life, but I will mourn the ending.

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