We had Grandma's funeral last week. It was peaceful. I think she was finally ready to go. There are a lot of people who were very sad. I am not sad that she is done with this life, I am sad that I didn't get to ask her more questions or that I didn't comfort her more in the end, but I am happy that she is done with her test here on earth.
My parents asked me to make the program for her funeral and give the eulogy. I cried all the way through, but I am happy I was able to do that. I think it gave me a lot of closure.
Dolly Mae Lund Eulogy
Something that I have learned through this experience of loosing grandma is that we all grieve differently. Some of us drowned our sorrow with tears others drowned it in Cake and potatoes. Some of us find solace in the company of loved ones, while others prefer to be alone. Some people make themselves and others laugh as they try to find their zen and others put their shoulder to the wheel and serve away the pain. Although the definition of grief is ever changing and completely subject to its owners individual needs and circumstances, I think all grief shares a common theme of loss and regret.
We may regret that grandma didn’t get to see the beach or Elvis one last time, we may be sad that there was not one more touch of the hand or that we didn’t get something off of our chest. Maybe someone didn’t get to forgive or be forgiven, it maybe that we didn’t get to hear all the family history stories. We may regret not being able to see her more often or take just one more picture. My daughter expressed that she wishes she could have given great grandma just one more hug.
I don’t mean to discount the grief that we ALL are feeling, however, might I suggest that those regrets can be buried with her mortal body. We can instead, remember, memorialize and learn from her life, the good and the bad, and become better people because of the life she DID live and the associations we DID have with her. We need to count the number of hugs that we did have not the ones that we missed. We can remember the stories we did hear and learn from them. We would be doing those beautiful times and memories that we do have a disservice if we focus on the things that we did not get a chance to do. We must take comfort knowing that through Jesus Christ we can be together again and all regrets will be swept away in that beautiful reunion.
Something that has helped me in my grief is to remember. Remember as many details as I can.
I remember that she had a very strong connection to animals, especially her puppies that she dearly loved. Her connection with animals including that rattlesnake that wrapped itself around her daughter’s leg. She had no problem connecting a shotgun shell with his head.
I remember that she loved beautiful things. She always had a flower garden, beautiful jewelry and more Avon then any person should ever own. Eve remembers her mother teaching her the names of all the plants as she taught her daughters, by example, to create beauty all around you.
I remember that she was stubborn and fiercely independent. She was so kind to pass that gene onto me. Fun fact, her birth name was Dolly but she was christened Dorothy. Her father hated the name Dorothy. She later legally changed her name to Dorothy and insisted that her name was not Dolly.
I remember that she had a sarcastic sense of humor. I didn’t appreciate her negative witty comments until I was an adult when I realized that she was actually pretty funny. She passed this gene onto Lori who remembers that she had an “innocent sense of humor that came along with a laugh to wake and stimulate any listening ear.”
I remember that grandma always had dark curly hair. I think when I get older and I start to go grey I am going to blame her for tricking me into believing that all old people have brown hair.
I feel like I missed out because I don’t remember her baking, but Jan told me that she remembers that she was not a very good cook, but boy could she bake. Coffee cake, chocolate-chocolate chip cake and divinity. Donna remembers the delicious divinity as she told me, Mom would “let me stir in the egg white and beat it. Then I got to clean the bowl.” Donna also remembers her porcupine meatballs, which is not a baked good, so she couldn’t have been that bad in the kitchen. Eve Remembers that she even baked when the family lived in a cabin with no stove or oven. Ill let her try to remember how that was done and tell everyone later, maybe she’ll teach a class.
I remember that there was always a garden with peas and zucchini and tomatoes. I’m pretty sure that grandma never sowed that garden; it was grandpa’s garden. But I remember the feeling that he did it for her.
I remember that he loved her. I can see it in my mind, him in his suspenders and blue sweatshirt, putting his big grandpa arm around her and pulling her in close. Grandma told me stories, and I am now, as an adult, aware that they did not have the perfect relationship. I know that grandpa was not always a perfect man or husband. That is not what I remember though, I remember as a child knowing that they loved each other.
I remember that she loved music. She told me one time about how much she loved going to church to sing in the choir and play the organ. Grandpa’s church didn’t use a piano and the congregation sang accapella, she expressed that this is how she decided that his was not the true church. The three hymns that are part of today’s program were her favorite, which tells a lot about her. She loved music because it was her way of expressing her love for the Savior, Jesus Christ
I remember that she had a testimony of Jesus Christ and in learning all we can about dolly’s mother, she too believed in the savior. This is a memory that I will hold dear and am forever grateful for, for the passing down of faith and hope and courage.
As we each deal with our individual grief, and hopefully burry our regrets and sorrow, may we all find comfort in the knowledge that Dorothy loved her children and grandchildren and that she is, as aunt Lori put it, “surely part of the heavenly choir.”