For the first time in five years, I celebrated mass today. I remember the last time I went to mass because it was my sister’s graduation from high school. I’ll remember this time, too, because it was Grandma’s funeral.
It was a short service done by a skeleton crew – a cantor and an altar server, who also doubled as Eucharistic ministers, the priest, readings by my uncle, the eulogy by my aunt. I wondered if my grandma had attended this church, and if she had, if the others besides my family knew her. The priest addressed this question saying that he had known her, but had not realized until today who she was. Even though he hadn’t known her very well, I was still comforted by the fact that he recognized her and had an image of her while she was alive.
I enjoyed the eulogy my aunt had prepared – not overly romantic or sappy, the way Grandma would have wanted it. My aunt shared stories of a woman I did know and stories of a woman I didn’t, one thing to me, something entirely different to the next person. It made me think of how, in a way, we are all composites of what other people dream us to be. I didn’t know my grandmother very well, but I realized today how much of my image of her was made up of images of myself. Mom always said that somehow I’d been reincarnated into my grandmother before she had even died – both virgos, both serious, both savers and collectors, both meld all the slivers of the old bars of soap together, both the same dark, almost-black hair. I didn’t know my grandmother very well, but I think I will miss her.
Afterward, we had lunch with the family and then E and I got back in the car toward home. We somehow miraculously missed traffic, but it still took us until almost 11. Back at home, we unpacked, turned off the alarms and were asleep before our heads hit the pillows.