I remember the sadness of all that attended, their tears, their sorrow and the way that they comforted each other as they said goodbye to a much loved and treasured woman.
I remember people talking about her afterward as they ate the trays of sandwiches and slices and how they laughed and smiled reminiscing about her life.
After my grandma’s funeral I played with my cousins at the wake. There were probably about six or so of us who were under twelve that were there that day.
We all knew, to varying degrees why we were there and what had happened, but the innocence of childhood wasn’t squished out of us this day. Instead we took a knowledge and understanding of life that prepared us for what life is really like, the reality of loss and grief and the importance of processing this.
The importance of coming together as a community of friends and family to support one another and to keep the memory of those lost in body, alive in spirit.
Earlier this year, I attended another family member’s funeral. But this time as I looked around me I realised that I was the only one who had brought children. It wasn’t that there weren’t other children who knew and loved this person but for whatever reason they were not in attendance.
I didn’t ask why they weren’t there, but it stood out to me as a vastly different experience to the one I had had 26 years ago at my grandma’s funeral. And I wondered why it was so different this time?