My Granddad’s funeral

This is just a quick hello. I am sorry I haven’t been in touch earlier. The last few days home with my family have just flown by so quickly.
I arrived in Germany safely on Thursday night and was picked up by my BIL. The rest of my family was attending an intercession-service for my Granddad when I got in. We had some dinner at my parents’  house and it was kind of a weird feeling – the joy of seeing my family and the sadness for the occasion of my being here at the same time.

However,  my Granddad’s funeral on Friday was everything (and more) that we could have asked for. There were many, many people at the church service at 9 a.m.
My Granddad was a highly decorated “Schütze” (marksman) in the local “Schützenverein” (marksmen club – I have no idea if this translation makes any sense, but it was the only thing I could find on Wikipedia) and he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) a few years ago. There were two big articles and a couple of obituaries in our local newspaper and from that you can tell that he was well-known around here. Many mourners came in their respective uniforms to pay their last respect to my Granddad.


The funeral service was very personal and touching. The pastor – someone who had worked in my Granddad’s congregation for many, many years and who married J and I four years ago – came all the way from Belgium to hold the ceremony. He briefly recapitulated my Granddad’s life which was – save for WWII – a good and happy life revolving around his family and dear friends, and the thought that he is finally – after 28 years – reunited with my Grandma (however that may be) is somewhat consoling. It was also just heart-warming to see so many people show up to say their goodbyes.

There were about 80 people at the luncheon after the burial service. I am not sure if that tradition is wide-spread in the US, but in Germany it is very common to invite family and close friends for a gathering following the funeral. Anecdotes from the past were exchanged and it was a casual atmosphere to commemorate the dead and to celebrate his life. I know many people have mixed feelings about these gatherings following funerals (including myself), but I can positively say that I’ll only have good memories of my Granddad’s funeral reception.

All things considered, it was a really positive experience and I am thankful and glad that I have been able to be here with my family during this emotional and sad time.

  1. Hi Darlin’ sounds like it all went ok and that you got to spend time with your family which is always important. Am thinking of your sis and I hope you are ok!xoxoxoxox

    Ps we have similar gatherings after funerals here in OZ. its a good thing to spend time after the funeral remebering all the good times :-) Love ya

  2. Oh, San. I’m so happy that you were able to make it over for your Grandfather’s funeral. You and your family really needed each other, I’m certain. Are you home now, or still in Germany? We usually have gatherings after funerals in the States, too…mostly just a luncheon or something like that. If you are still in Germany, I hope that you have a safe flight back home!

  3. San, I’m sure it’s been hard for you and your family. I’m so glad that you were able to go back to Germany.

  4. Sending you hugs from here, babe. xoxo
    .-= Kerri Anne´s last blog ..Things I’m Contemplating As I Enter This, My Superhero(ine) Phase =-.

  5. i’m glad it was after all a somewhat “positive” way to say goodbye. like i told you, my mom’s funeral was actually kinda “nice” as well and i regret not having taken any pictures (because you just “don’t do” that at a funeral i guess…). he was a great man :)

    also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN <3 and enjoy the time with your family you have left. oh and thanks for having that piece of cake for me. HDGGGDL! <3
    .-= kim´s last blog ..Protected: perspectives =-.

  6. I’m glad it’s been an overall good experience! Even when it’s such a sad occasion that company of people who loved him, along with the memories of his life, can truly be comforting in a way you didn’t think they would be.

    We also have the tradition of a luncheon after a funeral service. It was always weird to me at first, until last year when my grandmother passed away. The luncheon was great! Having all those people together, enjoying a meal, remembering her beautiful spirit…was more comforting that I imagined it would!

    Enjoy this time at home…and get back safely!

  7. Thinking of you. I am sure he was looking down holding hands with your grandma feeling happy to see so many wonderful people remember him so fondly.
    .-= Fab´s last blog ..Ahhh… I miss you guys :) =-.

  8. I am glad you went.Come home safely.

  9. I am so glad that you got to spend this hard but also important time with your family and friends.

    My grandpa’s funeral last year was held in the same way. He had been a member of the local fire department for over 60 years.

    Also, Happy Birthday to you and your sister!
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Maybe it’s just some Wednesday. =-.

  10. I’m so glad to hear that it went as smoothly as one could hope, and that you were there to say goodbye and, yes, to celebrate his life. I do think that’s what these luncheons are all about, essentially. :)

    And, Happy Birthday! <3

    When are you flying back to the States?
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Midnight =-.

  11. It sounds like the funeral was a positive experience, celebrating the life of a great person. It’s so good you were able to come to Germany for this.

    And because today is your birthday, I hope you and your sister have a happy birthday together, despite the sadness of the past few days.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..How time flies =-.

  12. I’m glad it was overall a positive experience and you got to see how much he meant to so many people. I’m so sorry for your loss and also glad you got to see your family.

  13. What better way to celebrate the life of one you loved so well, than to do it with your family. Holding your family in your arms is such a healing thing. I am so happy that you got to go home.
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..I Won! =-.

  14. happy birthday love! It’s good to read from you and I am glad you got to say goodbye and you can be with your family for your special day. Sending you a big hug and I am glad everyone came to say goodbye he sounds like a great guy!!!

  15. I now I am late, but I want to wish you a Happy belated Birthday!! And of course your sister as well.

    I am glad that the funeral was good. It’s important to have a proper “goodbye”.
    .-= Steffi´s last blog ..Finally – you can SEE something =-.

  16. Funerals can be very sad, or very uplifting. Glad your grandfather’s was of the positive kind. Hope you can enjoy the rest of your trip and travel safely home!

  17. I’m a bit late in commenting, but I just wanted to let you know I’d been thinking about you and am glad you made safe. I think it’s good you’re there and I’m glad the funeral was what you and your family needed it to be.

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