Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moving Along

It has been almost 3 weeks since my father-in-law passed away.  We all feel some relief that he is no longer suffering, but it has been difficult.  We are all grieving in our own ways, but life just keeps moving along.

This time of year is always so busy for us, so that keeps our minds occupied.  Having three children definitely helps.   Our lives are consumed by daily routine, doctor appointments, school functions, homework, meetings, birthdays, and an active social life.  Busy is good right now. 

If there is one thing that our children will remember from having to say goodbye to their grandfather, it will be the fact that he was loved by many. He was a good man. The number of people that came to the funeral home to pay their respects was humbling.

My father-in-law was the mayor of his town for over ten years.  He was so proud of being mayor, and loved his community.  He did so many great things for the town.  In addition to the viewings, he had a masonic funeral ceremony and a firemen funeral ceremony.  As mayor, he worked closely with the local police force.   At the viewings, the force always had two officers stationed at the door to the room he was in at all times.  It was incredibly touching.  

His funeral was perfect.  It seems strange to write those words, but it was a beautiful tribute to him.  One of his neighbors had recorded interviews with him over the past few weeks.  At the funeral, one of the funny stories he told was played. He had a wicked sense of humor!  It was so surreal to hear his voice.  People were laughing and crying at the same time.

The entire police force attended the funeral and saluted him as his casket was lifted into the hearse.  On their own, they arranged a final parade down main street of his beloved town, on the way to the cemetery.  We didn't even know about it, but it was what he had wanted. 

My father-in-law's favorite holiday was the 4th of July.  He loved his town, he loved his country.  His favorite part of 4th of July was the fireworks.  One of the things he managed as mayor was to start a fireworks show in town on the 4th. 

After the burial ceremony, they had us step out of the tent and face out toward the open sky for one final tribute.  For a full minute, huge fireworks lit up the sky. They were the big, booming fireworks that he loved so much. The tears mixed with laughter as we all watched. He would have been honored.  It was perfect. 

We weren't sure if we wanted the kids to attend the viewings and funeral, but in the end, we felt that it was the right thing to do.  They got to see just how much their PapPap was loved. 

Since then, we have moved on.  Life goes on.  We have three amazing little ones to raise.

I find myself feeling thankful that I had the chance to get the know him.  I'm thankful that Dylan and Lexie got to know him.  I'm thankful that Lily got to meet him.  I'm thankful that Grant, his brother, and his mom were holding on to him as he passed.  That's exactly how it should be.

Most of all, I am thankful that I am surrounded by some of the kindest, most amazing people a person could ever hope to have in their life.  This may be a difficult road for us, but they are the ones that are going to get us through!  This is a rough patch, but life IS good!

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. Your words honor him so well. I need a "like" button. :)

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  2. Sounds like an amazing to tribute to an amazing guy! I'm sure life is tough right now, but it sounds like you are making the best of it.

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  3. I'm sorry for your loss. I love that his favorite holiday was July 4th. Such a unique choice!

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  4. It sounds like it was indeed, a perfect funeral. A perfect tribute to his life.

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  5. bittersweet, because look at your beautiful family he's able to look down upon :)

    beautiful post!

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  6. Sounds like a beautiful service. I'm sure he would have been very pleased!

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  7. Sounds amazing!! He must have been a very special man!

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  8. Wow, how incredible. He was well loved, may his memory be eternal. XO

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  9. I am sorry to hear about your loss. I'm glad the funeral went so well--that is a blessing. My own mother recently passed, and I know too well about the need to keep moving on when you have the little ones to care for, but it can be so hard, I know! Prayers...

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  10. What a beautiful post! Your family is truly blessed for having such a wonderful man. Hugs!

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