Monday, May 12

Well, my grandmother did die a few days after that last blog entry. She didn't come out of the coma, and her last few days were very peaceful. True to her wishes, the family buried her. Interesting choice, because she wasn't religious at all, so we had a ceremony with a 'celebrant' who bookended the service, with family members providing three very moving eulogies.

The celebrant just called herself a "celebrant" which I suppose sounds less contradictory than "funeral celebrant". I couldn't picture myself introducing myself as a "funeral celebrant" at cocktail parties... but then, I don't attend many cocktail parties.

The celebrant did her best, but what are you going to do when you don't actually know the deceased at all? Any inspirational, positive stuff you come out with has to be so generic it comes across very tacky. "Well, at least she had a good innings," she could have said, but did she really? How would the celebrant know? Would it be too painful to do some research prior to the service perhaps? Speak to some of the close family... ring them up... "Hello, you don't know me, but I'm the funeral celebrant for your grandmother's service next Monday, and I was wondering if I could have 10 minutes of your time to get you to recall any especially insightful memories you have of her. Oh, I'm sorry, you're grieving right now? OK, perhaps I should call back later, what time would be most convenient for you?"

I was so proud of my uncles Jim and Drew, and my mother Jean. Each of them gave a very moving eulogy, all of them moving everyone attending to tears and laughter several times. My grandmother really valued people's honesty, and she couldn't abide false emotion, and I can't help thinking she would have been very proud of her three children and they way they spoke about her life.

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