Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Death in the Family

My children's last living grandparent died this week. This is after so many years in deep dementia and physical incapacity and misery. My daughter coined a word for this, grelief, I feel such relief for her to be freed from her mind and body. I cannot remember the last time she knew me, but I do know it has been at least a year since she recognized her one and only son. It has been very difficult for Larry to be repeatedly rejected and unrecognized by his mother. He had a hard time not taking it personally, even though, logically, he knew it wasn't really her speaking.
When my very young niece died, I made her dress to wear in her burial and it helped me deal with the loss. It was very kind of my sister in law to let me do that. Larry has undertaken a much larger project, he has painted the casket with a California style paint job, from hot rod painting days. First he painted it a lighter blue, then through a few yards of lace in a floral design, he sprayed a darker blue. The body of the casket is the dark blue. He and his friend are now returning the casket to the funeral home. The smell of auto body paint has made me think a lot about my dad who was an auto body man as well as a mechanic. He was an artist at painting cars and truck, even painting race cars. He was very gifted in that area, but the years of painting without taking safety measures added to his lung disease which took him rather young. It has actually been nice to think about some of his good points, his talents at this time, many of my memories of people are tied to scents and this is true of the smell of auto paint.

This is why I am not a writer--focus-- focus--
We discovered during this backyard casket painting (under a tent) adventure that a new neighbor is a funeral director and he was quite enthralled by the idea as is his boss. hmmm. Also the taping of the insides to protect it was slightly inadequate and some blue leaked in-- new neighbor told Larry those pieces of fabric would be flipped out and not show, whew, cause we were going to pull it about and re-staple it. I also burned my first CD today gathering some music for my MIL's visitation and funeral. A little tech job I wasn't sure of.. freaked out really, but it's simple.

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