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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saying goodbye to Grandpa

Last November Grandpa passed away on Thanksgiving Day.  It was a devastating blow to the entire family.  However, I count my many blessings that I was able to be there in the hospital room with him as he took his last breaths.  We had a memorial service several days later.  Grandpa was cremated -- but the family needed some time before we buried him.  We knew exactly where we were going to bury him, but it was winter, cold ... and I had to return home.  When I went home for my cousin's wedding, we all agreed it was the perfect time to bury him.


Most of the family gathered together on Sunday morning  -- Mother's Day -- to head out to my my dad's & Grandpa's hunting grounds, over an hour and a half away.  Twenty-two years ago (I might be off by a few years), my dad and grandpa went knocking door to door in the country, trying to find a place to hunt.  They happened upon this couple and became great friends with them over the years.  They said it would be an honor for them -- to have grandpa's ashes buried on their land.

So we arrived at their home to let them know we arrived, and lo & behold.... there are hummingbirds flying all over the place.  My grandparents have hummingbird feeders outside their house as well, but there were at least FIVE hummingbirds at one time eating!!  It was the neatest thing ever.  Hummingbirds always caught my grandparents attention and awe.


Then we drove to the part of the land in which this couple will soon build their new home.  My dad tells me this area of the meadow is where Mike has gotten many a deer -- so has Grandpa and I can't remember who else.

My cousin Herschel walks Grandma down to the site.


After we decide on the area which would be perfect, he and my aunt start digging. 


It becomes apparent that it is very hard, and full of rocks... so time to bring out the big tools!!


Everyone watches as Herschel & others took turns shoveling.


Even my brother takes a turn ..... He's wearing Grandpa's favorite hat.  
My grandpa loves the Royals (a baseball team in Kansas City) -- 
he'd sit in his chair every time a game played and cheered his beloved team on.


After a good amount of dirt was dug, it was time for our little service. 
My aunt read a poem written by my dad night/morning of. 


I told my parents that I wanted to find a metal box to put little mementos inside.  My grandma had some things she wanted to put with the urn, but I thought a metal box would do the trick.  Imagine my surprise on Saturday morning when I went to the garage sale across the street from my parents house, and I found the exact metal box I wanted to try to find......

Here my dad is explaining what we all put inside the box.  My grandpa's business card from back in the day.


A used gun shell -- my grandpa loved to hunt, and was happiest hunting.


My aunt holding up another Royals hat.


We put a picture of his beloved dog Buddy.  He loved that dog. 
We also wrote letters and put them inside the box as well.
We added a small plane because he was a pilot -- and a paper airplane as well.



Scattering dirt on my Grandpa's urn -- (I picked out the urn, which was given to us by my father & mother in law -- however, it wasn't big enough, so some of the ashes are in its original container).


We placed logs on his site, so that one day we could come back if we ever wanted to, 
and know where it was at. 


Saying goodbye.


At this point, I wanted to document the fact that I was there as well... 
so you can see me and my grandpa's burial site in the corner.


From left to right:  My cousin Herschel, his dad, my uncle Darwin, the man who owns this land, my dad and my brother Mike.


A picture of the family who came (and the two friends who owned the land)



I think my grandpa would be happy with his final resting place.


It's an incredibly beautiful area. 


On the way out, my dad took us to see one of my grandpa's stands when he went hunting.  They had quite a few scattered around the land.  My brother braved the tall grass (and snakes, ticks) to bring us this picture because we couldn't quite see anything.


On the way out, he snapped this picture of us waiting for him by the road.

Goodbye Grandpa.
You are missed sorely.
A void in our heart, really.
Till we meet again.....


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I know it’s been a year since your grandpa’s demise, but I still want to extend my deepest condolences to your family. Burying your grandpa’s body in his favorite hunting ground is a very good idea. It’s a fitting resting place for a person who loved hunting more than any other activity. I think it’s also great that you kept all the things that remind you of him in that urn. Those are what made him special, unique. He will live on in your memory with the help of those.

    -Chang Poulin


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