It used to be, once upon a time (before this year...), that I rarely had to attend a funeral. I think I probably averaged once a year at the most. I have been very fortunate that those closest to me have been blessed with long lives.
On Monday, I will attend a fourth funeral just this year. I hope this is the last one for a while; however, with an aging extended family, I don't know I should expect the infrequent funerals of the past.
It started in January, with the funeral of an infant, who was a twin, passed away after a tough fight with a condition that was diagnosed in the womb. Despite surgery and other efforts to save her life, she was called home. My heart broke for her mother- this is something no mother should ever have to face. Read about it here or here.
In April, my very loved Grandfather died. He was the first of my grandparents to pass, so it was tough. He was an amazing man and already missed. You can read about my Grandpa here.
(Well, in all truthfulness, my step-grandma- my mom's step-mom died a few years ago after being bed ridden and incapacitated for nearly 10 years. It was less sadness and more celebration that she was able to be rid of her ill body. Plus, due to her many years of sickness, I really didn't know her well.)
Then, about a month ago, a man in our ward at church- who was only 32 and was married with 3 children- passed away suddenly due to a brain aneurysm. That was one of the hardest funerals I have been too. So heart breaking and scary that this would happen to someone so young and in the peak of health. I can not even fathom the pain his wife and family are facing.
Finally, just last Wednesday, July 29, my step-grandfather, Grandpa Dan (my mom's step-dad) passed away. He and my Grandma have been married about 27 years. He has one daughter and 4 step-daughters. He has battled cancer for about nine years and it was progressing. I didn't get to see him often in the last 15 years or so because he and my grandma moved to Florida, but would return to Ohio for the summer. I think I generally saw them about once a year when they were up here. I saw him on July 4th, after not having seen him since last summer at least. I noticed that it seemed he had aged about 20 years in just that year. Then, about a week and a half ago, he came down with pneumonia. They told my grandma that if she did not allow them to insert a breathing tube, he would die before the night ended. Grandpa Dan had a DNR, but my grandma figured a breathing tube didn't count, since it wasn't an effort to resuscitate him. When he woke later, he was angry about the breathing tube. He had improved so they removed it. Then, as he began to worsen again, he refused the breathing tube, so they gave him oxygen. After a few days, he refused that as well- any and all medical treatment. He felt he was being called home and wanted nature to take its course. So, they removed everything and were preparing to release him to a local hospice center, but he passed away before he could be moved there. This has been a tough week for my mom, Grandma and his daughter as they took care of him in the end and now are planning the funeral.
So, anyway, this post has been very depressing and I apologize for that. I will make sure my next post is more upbeat. I feel like 4 funerals in the first half of the year is more than my share. No more please!!!
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