Funerals have never been easy for me. The first one I remember is my Grandpa Swapp's. I was little, 1st grade I believe. I wasn't allowed to attend the funeral, the little kids were tended at my Grandma's house. The things I do remember about the funeral were this:
- I got picked up early at school
- I got a new dress that I still remember, it reminded me of 'Heidi', I loved that dress, red and black with a lace up attached vest
- Staying at my Grandma's house
- and my mom taking me to the church to see my Grandpa one last time. I remember her holding me up to see in the coffin and I just thought he looked like one of those wax figures at a was museum
I went to my Grandpa Hulsey's funeral when Andy was 6 months old. We were close. It was hard to lose him. I cried as soon as I walked in and saw my mother. I have felt him with me many times since then in the last 22 years. I still miss him, but can still feel a hug from him when I need it most.
I didn't make it to my Grandma Swapp's funeral. I had plans to go with my sister Dawna. I kept having the feeling I shouldn't go, but wanted to be there and kept pushing the feeling away. The night before we were supposed to leave, I called my mom, in tears again, and told her I didn't feel like I should go but I wanted to be there so badly. She told me to listen to that feeling and not come. That is what my Grandma would want me to do. I felt so bad for missing this.
When we moved to Evanston, we had been there for 3 weeks when they realigned the boundaries. I became the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society in a ward I didn't know anyone in. We called it the geriatric ward (I know, nice huh?) because we had at least 1 funeral about every week if not more. There was a time only a couple of weeks into being in the Presidency that the President and the 1st counselor could neither be to the funeral. That meant that I, who had never been in Relief Society before, had to do it.Since I became an adult I have not handled viewings well....ever. I don't know if it has something to do with seeing my grandpa or not. I don't know how to explain what I feel when it comes to a funeral. I know they are to show respect and love for the family, but I have to go through a whole talking myself into thing every time. No matter who it is.
Today we had a funeral to attend in Tremonton. Our dear friends, Kim and Cindy Parry, had a son that was 29 years old. He has been sick for a few years, part of what was wrong, they knew, but couldn't figure out everything from the way I understand it. About 4 weeks ago they had to take him to the hospital and thought they were going to lose him then, but they didn't. Last Saturday he passed away. Wynn told me and I knew I needed to go to the funeral. Wynn asked me if I was coming, they would all be leaving work to go. I kept telling him I didn't know yet, it was the last day of school for the kids, and all other nonsense. I tell you, I have to go through a process_ every_ time.
I got up this morning, got Tanner ready for school and myself ready for the day, in a skirt for the funeral, all the time still debating whether I was going. Wynn called me as I was driving Tanner to school and asked if I was coming, I told him yes to the viewing. As I drove over there I went through the whole process of I needed to stay to the funeral. I got lost, called Wynn, he got me to the church. We went in and got in line. As soon as I saw Cindy I started to cry. I hate crying in public. But I watched as this great friend of mine seemed to comfort everyone that went through that line. We were supposed to be there to comfort and support her, and she was comforting and supporting us. My heart as a mother was breaking for her. She is such a great example to me in all things.
I did stay to the funeral. I knew I would go and I would stay all along. But like I said, it is a process for me. It was a beautiful service. This was a very giving person that was giving through sickness and clear up to the end. His siblings and mom spoke. You could feel the love. You could feel that he was happy, at peace and felt good for the first time in a very long time. You could feel that he is where he is supposed to be. He couldn't finish his mission on this earth, he was sent home because of the illness. He is on his mission now.
I figure I will still have to talk myself into going. And I have to go through the feelings to make sure if it is a I shouldn't go thing or my usual I can't do this thing. I've had both. I think my Grandpa helps me with this process each time and hope he is allowed to remain with me.
God be with you, Cory Scott Parry. You were an example to all, and continue to be so.