Like the gloomy title? I know sorry I’m such a downer. When I wrote it it made me want to laugh and cry all at the same time. So let me explain the title and where my mind is right now….Over the last month I lost my grandpa (he was 93) and my husband just lost his grandmother yesterday (she was 93 as well). Both grandparents were very sick but that didn’t make it any less sad to lose them both. My grandpa had a stroke after my grandma died and had not been the same since. He spent 10 years in a nursing home before passing away. My husband’s grandma had dementia and had a very rapid decline before she passed. They were both ready to go to God.
So what’s the depressing point of this blog you ask? The point is, as I saw first hand at the funeral home for my grandpa, was how fast time goes. All the pictures at the funeral home and on his mass cards showed a bright and vibrant life. Pictures of when my grandpa was just a little baby, to a very young man getting married, serving in the military during WWII and then going on to have 6 kids and then the grandkids. Looking at the photos I was overcome with a feeling of urgency. Of just how fast this mans life came and went and yet he lived for so long!! I cried over how fast my own life is moving, I saw pictures of me and my husband holding our oldest when he was just 1 years old. I never remembered just how blond his hair was until I saw that photo at the wake. Losing my grandpa was sibolically the end of an era. Those times of being young and visting grandma and grandpa’s house had been over for some time but now there was no doubt about it, those times no longer existed. Those magical and free times from my childhood playing with my cousins in my grandparents backyard or the “Urlacher Olympics” as we called them. Complete with water balloon fights, bat-gammon and swimming in the pool. Those times were now only memories, brought to life by pictures.
And that’s what got me. The pictures. It was like being transported back in time, the memories came flooding back. I studied every picture of my grandpa remembering his laugh, his cologne, his voice. At the end of our lives the pictures and videos remain. My grandpa was known for always having a camera around his neck, and he did a great job capturing his family with both video and photos. It made me wonder if this is where I’ve gotten my passion from? Either way I left the funeral facing my own mortality and that of my parents. As my mom so bleakly joked “We’re next”
So why I am writing about this? It’s not to be a total downer I swear. It’s just to remind you that life truly is short, even if we are blessed enough to live a very long life. After we are gone the pictures and the memories are all that remain. So I encourage you to be the documentarian of your family, just as my grandpa was. It’s truly important work.