June 23, 2013MEMORIES OF GRANDMA -- Last weekend I headed home to Long Island for my Grandmother’s funeral. Death brings up so many mixed emotions; however this was a whole new experience. In the past, I have suffered tremendously over the passing of my grandparents, brother, high school friends and other loved ones. For the first time I saw death as a celebration of life. My grandmother was a remarkable; a strong woman with a beautiful spirit. All she ever wanted to do was help people and watch families grow, which is the legacy she leaves behind. Grandma was 95 years old and blessed with 6 children, 26 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Hearing this, you wouldn't believe she started her family at 34 years old! Funeral homes have always made me uneasy, immediately triggering the pain experience in past situations, but again, this was different. As I approached her body I felt complete peace. She looked absolutely angelic and years younger than I remember. Her passing was equally as peaceful in the presence of her oldest and youngest daughters, holding her hand while saying the rosary together. Her last words to her youngest daughter were “I want to help you” and sure enough she did. Five days later, at the same moment her eulogy was read during the funeral mass, the 13th great grandchild was born and the first grandson of her youngest daughter. She not only gave us the gift of life, but in her passing she helps us understand the circle of life and death and so many other valuable lessons. Today I feel more connected to her wisdom and strength, which continues to live inside all of us. I am forever grateful. ~Dawn Oliver Photo Above includes almost the whole family 6 Children & Spouses, 24 Grandchildren & 7 Great Grandchildren
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