June 5, 2013. National Running Day. My grandfather's funeral. Eighteen months since Joe died.
I've been seeing the buzz about National Running Day all over my Twitter feed and from my Facebook friends for the past few days. Discounts on races. Everyone talking about how long they will be running and who is going to be running with them. Inspiring images.
The only thing that was on my mind with regard to June 5th was the fact that I would be burying my beloved Grandpop on the same day that I was marking 18 months since my Joe died. To be frank, it sucked.
This morning, we said our goodbyes to my grandfather at the same funeral home in the same room where I said my final goodbye to Joe. The VFW had left a red poppy in his casket as a part of their ceremony the evening before which brought up lots of emotions for me as I paid my final respects. Church was tough too - again, it was the same place where we had Joe's funeral service. Also, again it was a beautiful service. My sister Karen and my cousin Suzanne gave beautiful eulogies and I found great comfort in my friend Heather's singing of the 23rd Psalm. We sang Amazing Grace, For All the Saints, and O Beautiful for Spacious Skies. As much as particular elements brought me back to Joe's service, it was uniquely Grandpop and truly moving on its own.
Since Grandpop was to be buried at the cemetery in Kingston, we were able to walk from the church to the cemetery, making for a memorable procession down Main Street. He would have gotten a kick out of it.
|Walking from the church to the cemetery.|
Once at the cemetery, it was the playing of Taps that affected me the most. It brought me back to my Grandpop Luck's funeral, a time when Joe was still in my life to bring comfort. After the brief service at the Kingston Cemetery, Domani asked me if we were going to the cemetery. It took me a minute to realize that he was talking about the cemetery where his dad is buried. His comment made me realize that perhaps what I needed to do to really find some peace today is to spend some time there.
So, as it turned out, it was running to that cemetery on this National Running Day which in many ways saved me. After the little guy and I had our much needed naps, we went over to my parents house for dinner and I took off for an emotionally-charged run. When I left, I wasn't sure if I would actually make it to the cemetery, but in the end it was 7.5 miles that started at my Grandpa's house, looped to the cemetery and back. It was a healing run that very fittingly ended with the song "Heaven" blasting through my iPhone. I couldn't have planned it better if I had timed out the songs myself.
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