In the morning, I am getting on a plane for Ontario. For a funeral. This time it's my Grammie. This time it was expected. There will probably not be any cousins. I don't know if we have been able to reach the one that I have on this side of the family. I don't think I'll be able to hide in the relatives' room this time around. And I don't feel any more prepared for dealing with a grieving family. I love my family. I grieve with them. I feel broken for my Grampie. And I feel useless. But I also feel peace. And I want to be there.
The visitation before my grandpa’s funeral is actually a fond and pleasant recollection. Yes, it was somber. I remember seeing his body, my grandma looking small beside the casket. And then we went upstairs. To the room where family gets to graciously retire. In this case, the room where all the cousins get to play euchre. It was a weird mix of requisite quiet and the inevitable laughter of having all of us together. I remember flipping through a Reader’s Digest from a coffee table, quickly bored and uninterested in staying, knowing we couldn’t really have any fun, yet desperately wanting to avoid the reality of death that was playing itself out downstairs. I guess the pleasantry of this memory is that we were all together, and I was young enough to be content with that, and of all my grandparents, this was the one I knew least. So it could have been much worse, but it wasn’t. It was almost like a family reunion with a bit less laughing and just as much food.
That's how long it's been since the last family funeral. It's funny, because just last week I was recollecting my Grandpa's visitation. I wrote: