I recently returned from a funeral for my grandmother on my mother's side. It was quite the family reunion, with various relatives from my mother's side of the family, some of which I haven't seen in quite some time, as well as my brother coming all the way from South Korea.
Monday we had the viewing, and Tuesday was the service. I was one of the pallbearers, the second time I've been one. The first was for my grandfather on my father's side. They are each survived by their respective spouses.
This funeral felt a bit more bittersweet than the last, as I'm down yet another grandparent, with only one-half on each side left. On the other hand, I was able to stay with family a bit longer for this one, which was great, given how little we see each other lately.
It's also been driven home a little more forcefully how life catches up to us. I grew up knowing all my grandparents pretty well. I have a few memories of my great grandparents when I was very little. Now my own parents are grandparents, and their parents have had great-grandkids for a while now. The cycle continues, and life goes on, until it ends. I believe in the hereafter, and that I'll see my grandparents again, but it is human nature to fear death, and to miss those that have passed on.
I am at least grateful that it was my grandmother and grandfather's time to go. Their physical and mental conditions had been getting worse and worse, so death came as a release for them. I also take comfort in the fact that they lived full and virtuous lives, part of which they shared with me. I recall reading somewhere, "If you died tomorrow, how many people would be at your funeral?" I can say that my mother's mother and father's father had lots of people at their funerals; they had forged and maintained relationships that mattered, and were a joy to those that knew them. I hope to follow in their example, and be the kind of person worthy to inherit their legacies.