Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturday's Goodbye

My grandmother (mom's mom) passed away the day after Christmas in 2009, three days before her 64th birthday. And on the 2nd day of 2010, we had her funeral and I had to write and read her eulogy. Worst holiday season ever.

Her ashes sat alone in a beautiful carved Koa wood box on my grandpa's kitchen table. No time was set for her ashes to be laid to rest, but we all knew that a year and half later would be the right time to say our final goodbyes.

The unlocking and lift away.
We all prepared our hearts on the 30 minute drive out to the grave site. I'm sure each car held inner silence and emotion while we talked about stories to make us feel better. It worked. As family members slowly started to trickle in, I began to get anxious: fidgeting, daydreaming into the sky, smelling the salt air. We all began to meticulously unlock and peel our hearts for what would come next. Sure, it was just a box full of ashes and sure we've all accepted her death and have moved on quite well. But something about my grandmother's ashes making it's way into the ground and being sealed by a county worker gutted me.

Twenty-minutes later and an ocean full of tears; hearts that have been rendered to acceptance...was the lift-away. We said a prayer and I, in an impromptu fashion, said a few words about the many things my grandma taught us. She taught us how to cook, clean, eat...and to love. And as each word came out of my mouth (some of which I can't even remember), I truly understood this "unlocking and lift away".  My heart hurt and old emotions from that hospital lobby and ICU where we spent a full day watching her wither away, had reopened and it was my chance, my kairos moment to fully let it go and breathe... the unlocking and lift away.

In that moment, with all of our hearts connected, we said our final goodbye to our spouse, our mother, our sister... my grandmother. And in that moment, we smiled with gratitude knowing that what we still have, even in her absence, is her legacy. ....and that legacy, you can take it to the bank and know for sure that it'll carry on.
It's the unlocking and lift away...

Then to laugh all of our tears away, all of the grandkids took some photos. Silly ones, too. Jumping poses, our "boogie nation" (body boarders/surfers/boggie boarders) pose and tallest to shortest. And Riley, the little girl in the green dress is my grandma's first GREAT. Another great just entered the world and there will be many more to come.....

We laughed and laughed and laughed all the way home. . .


  1. So sorry about your Grandmother.
    You look so adorable in your pictures! You are so super pretty:) Enjoy your weekend!

  2. My papa on my mom's side passed on election day, in Nov. of 09, and we still haven't been able to part with his ashes. My mom and each of her brothers each have an urn for now... One day we'll figure out what to do, probably scatter his ashes at one of his favorite fishing spots. In the mean time, love & blessings to your fam. Ke akua pu.

    PS: Love your Gaga paws!