Recently I read a post by another blogger that I follow Amber Dusick at Crappy Pictures (just to warn you sometimes she can be vulgar in her language) and her funeral post reminded me about our experience and how we came to help take care of my MIL especially the funeral itself.
My boys loved their grandpa (Pa). He is really the only grandpa that they remember. My dad passed when I was pregnant with my youngest and my oldest was 3. My oldest somewhat remembers my dad. Both my boys thought that my hubby's step-dad practically hung the moon. He loved being with our boys and playing in the dirt (gardening), looking through Toys R Us (shopping) or having them come over to his and grandma's house to play or just visit.
The day of his funeral we tried to help our boys prepare. Our oldest mostly just sat there and was quiet and reserved (he was 12). Our youngest cried hard (he was 8). We had a nice private viewing for the family in a room at Pa's church. Our youngest went up to the casket for viewing. I have never been able to do that. For me it is just an earthly body and my loved one is already gone. After the family time we were moved to the chapel where the casket was closed. The service progressed and then we moved to the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery for the military service and interrment. What a wonderful time where unprepared family and friends were encouraged to speak a few words. Our nephew spoke about how his grandpa loved unconditionally and showed him how much he cared. They asked if anyone else wanted to speak and my youngest said he wanted to go up there. Now let me tell you it was a struggle for me. Let my little boy talk in front of all these people? What is he going to say? What if he breaks down and I have to go up there? There was also this part of me that thought what if I refuse to let him do this? Will he ever forgive me? It's what he wants, let him do it. I did tell him to go ahead and walk up there to tell others about his Pa. He did so well and spoke about how his Pa let him talk to him about everything and he knew his Pa was special and made him feel special.