Monday, December 10, 2012
Grandpa Barney passed away on November 6th, 2012. We will miss him: his sweet smile, his compliments, his kindness, his everlasting love of golf and sports, his self-deprecation, his desire to hear about our lives, and his willingness to run errands for anyone, anytime :)
Even though we weren't there, I'm so glad we were able to write him a small letter and say good-bye. I wish I could have been there to give him a hug and kiss and selfishly pass along a message to our daughter. But we were able to make a last minute drive to Utah to attend his funeral. And I am so so so glad we were able to be there. I can't imagine missing it. Even though it's hard, I have felt that there is something so incredibly sweet about grieving together as a family. Some of my favorite moments from that day:
- Briz, Libby, and Kloey being so excited to sing "I am a child of God," during the funeral with all of their other cousins, that they ran up to the podium a few minutes too early. They stood there next to "Pops," while he was still talking. And while I was playing the piano during the song, I could hear Libby belting it out.
- Looking at pictures of Grandpa Barney, and seeing all of the family genes that have been passed down through the Barneys.
- Seeing all of our cousins, aunts and uncles, and just giving each other lots of hugs, taking a lot of pictures. I love Nick's extended family. It feels weird to even type that because really, they are just my extended family :)
One of the most special things for me was to see Grandpa in his casket; different, but he looked so handsome. I had two overwhelming feelings when I saw him:
1) I was reminded, no not reminded, almost like smacked upside the head with the repeated affirmation that life is eternal.
2) I grieved a bit of Holland's death as well. This is the first funeral that I have been to since hers and even though it was so extremely different, I was reminded of seeing my baby girl in her casket. I realized that there are so many different elements to grieving, and often the big, heavy, ugly parts of it (like trauma) drown out everything else. This is a part of grieving that I hadn't done yet. I grieved for those moments in the viewing when I sat there with my girl, watching people watch her (some for the first time). This isn't something that anyone should have to go through. And even though it was extremely spiritual and powerful, it was really really hard. And I just wanted so badly to pick her up and for her to miraculously have life. I wanted people to understand that she was SO much prettier in real life. I wanted people to see her blue eyes and hear her cooing voice. I had seen her dead quite a few times by this point, so compared to all of the other horrific things I was going through, this didn't seem that bad. But being in there with Grandpa's body, I was able to deal with Holland's viewing in an isolated way and appreciate it.
I love thinking about Grandpa Barney being with Holland and getting to know her better.