catholic funeral: take 3

Grandparents and Grans; I'm in red... apparently I had to pee.  
Last week my grandfather passed away.  Those of you that know me and follow this blog might be thinking 'didn't her grandparents just... die?'  The answer is yes.  This is the THIRD grandparent I've lost in 14 months.    I now have none.   While I know I am lucky to have grandparents into my 30s, well, it's a lot to take in a short amount of time.  Definitely a year of extreme ups and downs for our family.   I grew up with both sets of grandparents less than a mile from my childhood house so losing them all in such a short time frame is a bit insane.

After I heard the (not unexpected) news, Karl and I loaded up the car and hopped on the road.  We drove through the rain ALL DAY (we can not catch a weather break lately on our drives... just ups The Level of Tense a teensy little bit.)  The wake was Thursday evening.  I'm always overwhelmed with wakes.  In my family, they are noisy and well attended and the kids run around while the casket sits up front, open, and people file by at will, offering a quick prayer, a mass card or a respectful goodbye - whether they knew the deceased or not.   Mostly, I'm impressed by the turnout.  Family,  old friends and co-workers of my parents and my dad's siblings... food... subdued laughter... photo boards... congratulations on new births... condolences on other's loss...

Nate and Maura waiting for final formal goodbye.  

The funeral mass was bright and early Friday morning and performed by a priest that started as a deacon in my childhood church and has since moved on but has stayed in touch with my family.  The church we were in was the same one that my parents were married in and that both my sister and I were baptised in.   My dad, the oldest of the six Horan kids, gave a simple and lovely eulogy.  My sister, myself and two other granddaughters brought the gifts to the alter.  My aunt works for the local police department and six or seven of the officers used their days off to stop traffic (full on lights and sirens!) and escort us from the funeral parlor to the church to the cemetery.   The burial was in an enormous military cemetery (same place my mom's parents are buried) - complete with three gun salute, folding of the flag and playing of Taps (I dare you NOT TO CRY DURING THAT!) and presentation of the flag to the family.

Get out of our way: we have STICKERS.  Oh, and cops.  
After the burial we headed BACK to the church where some lovely little old ladies and gentlemen had casseroles prepared in the church/school cafeteria.  I swear to God it smelled exactly the same in there as when I was eight years old.   Several of my family members brought beer (drinking in the church basement!  If I had a dollar for every beer I've consumed on Church property...) and we toasted the day and to being with family.    

Discussing puzzles and ice cream sandwiches.
On a lighter (and only slightly morbid note) I discovered whilst I was nursing the baby in the urn selection room at the funeral parlor, you can, in fact, store your earthly remains in a Cardinals urn for the low, low price of $700!

Photographic evidence.  


brooke knight said...

So. Weird. It must have been like a step in to your past, in a morbid way. Love you so much.

melissa said...

so sorry for your loss, my love -you but it looks like you were safe in lots of loving arms. that must've been comforting. thinking of you, doll. xo

Panamamama said...

So sorry, Kat.

Jax said...

I am so sorry about the loss of your grandfather. I love that the Catholics make funerals more of a celebration of life. Sending love, friend!

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear about your grandfather.


Unrelatedly: that urn is tremendous. Thank you for sharing. Highlight of my day.

Anonymous said...

sorry for your loss. sometimes there are times when you can't get a break from loss, but hopefully this is it for a while. keep on smiling.

Sarah said...

really sorry to hear; i know your heart hurts.


LukeandKarla said...

Sorry to hear this. My grandparents were always older than my friends' grandparents too and I will likely not have my remaining two around much longer. I bet it was nice to see your family though and for some of them it was probably the first time they met Nora Kate :)

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