Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saying goodbye to a grandfather

Today is the third week since my father passed away. I was fortunate to be able to attend his funeral. Unfortunately, my kids could not go with me. So I felt that we should do something to allow them to say goodbye to their grandfather in their own way. When my mother had passed, we held a private memorial service for her. So I thought that maybe it would be a good idea for the kids to have another private memorial for their grandfather, too. This time, I would not participate. I had already said goodbye to my father. This was for them. This was so they would have closure and be able to move on with their loss.

Each of them made a picture for the occasion. Even though Jennifer knew my dad when she was an infant, she did not have many memories of him. I told her my dad was the one she said her first word to. Jesse also had trouble remembering him. He’d only seen my dad once, in St. Louis 4 years ago. That was the only time. I have the picture of that time on my wall.

Jesse made a picture of that time and he taped it on the back of a letter he wrote for this occasion. Jennifer made a picture, too. When she had been informed of my father’s death, one thought that struck her was that he was with my mom now. They were together again. Her picture captured that thought beautifully.

After they shared their pictures, I shared with them pictures of my dad. I told them stuff about him – how he was born in Los Angeles, his birthday was April 12th, he loved Disneyland and he also loved eagles. I told them about how he liked to eat shrimp and he had a sweet tooth. They were surprised when I told them his middle name was Eugene, because we live in a city named Eugene, and also about how he was a “street kid” that got into fights a lot when he was a teenager living in L.A. I told them that their grandpa painted houses and how their dad even used to paint houses with them. And I also told them they could talk to their grandpa anytime they wanted to. I told them he’ll always be close by and that he will hear them when they need to talk to them.

I think this memorial helped them say farewell to their grandfather. I wish they had known him better but at least now he’ll be around for them anytime they need him.

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