Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Grandma's Funeral

I went to my 92 year old maternal Grandma's Funeral in Utah, last weekend with our 14 mo. old son. My husband stayed back at home with the three oldest kids. (It was so hard leaving without them.)
Baby was really good in the airplane and kept saying, "Whoa!" but I sure was grateful that he took a nap during the flight. My sister picked us up from the airport and we headed to pick up flowers that my mom in law bought for the funeral, they were so beautiful.

The funeral traditionally is 3 days. It was beautiful, the decorations were amazing and my grandma looked so peaceful and beautiful, but it was hard to see my grandma in her casket. We had just visited with her the day after New Years, she was sick but still tried to get up to hug us.

She was always so delighted to be around her family especially the small children. She always had a purse full of goodies to hand out to her many grandkids. Reality hit me hard when I went up to see her after I stroked her soft silver hair and gave her a kiss on the forehead, it was very hard for me to hold back the tears as I thought about how sweet, kind and loving she was to everyone. She never judged anyone, just shared her love, knowledge and her laughter and lifted those around her, she knew how to make anyone feel at home.

As I held my son I wept like a baby and holding him truly comforted me. I realized how important she was to our family and memories of spending time with her had become even more precious to me. She had sacrificed so much for her family and yet on her deathbed she still remained the same strong woman. Through the pain of her recovery she managed to share her feelings and testimony of God and Jesus Christ. She reminded our family of what is most important in this life. The family centered in love and harmony in Jesus Christ. It is from her teaching my mother that I learned many of my earliest and most important lessons in life. Serving others and God, having faith and being diligent and humble, and that being a wife and mother is the most important priority in life.

The funeral music and program was amazing, there were many talks given and each shared special memories of Grandma. My uncle read a letter that our oldest daughter who wrote to her great- grandma, before she passed away. She wrote:

I am sorry that I didn't see you because I was sick. I didn't feel very good.
Because I love you very much.

The burial was on Saturday morning and my mother placed the letter in the casket, along with two hearts our 3 y.o. daughter cut out for her Great Grand parents and a picture she drew of Grandma and Grandpa in heaven together. Our 3 y.o. asked me a question before I went to the funeral. She said, "Mom what is Grandma going to wear when she meets Jesus?" It's amazing the mind and heart of children are so in touch with the most precious and spiritual concepts.

At the burial the family sang hymns and there was a band that came and played music also, the weather was clear and the sun was shining so bright. My brother released doves and the children released white balloons and blew bubbles. We sprinkled sand with specks of silver in it on top of her casket from our Grandmother's island, as she requested many years ago. There were wreaths made with lollipops for all the small grand children to take as a gift from Grandma, because she loved giving out candy to them. She is now at peace with my grandpa in heaven and she is deeply missed. The sound of her laugh and her singing will always be in my mind. I hope this post might help everyone to remember the sacrifices and love that others have made for you to have life and to be grateful for each day spent with loved ones. Families can be together forever.

Alu a (goodbye in Tongan) Grandma...

We love you so much, and look forward to seeing you again...


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your great grandmother sounds like a wonderful person who made this world a better place. She would have been pleased to read your loving tribute to her. I have no doubt that your words will provide comfort for your family in the days, weeks and months ahead. Peace be with you.

  2. Ane, this is such a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughtful words. It captures whatever I left out in mine. And thanks for those pictures that you are sharing with me. ;) Love you.


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