Remembering. August 2013, Pennsylvania.
This August, right before school started, we celebrated Pop Pop’s life at his grave unveiling. It’s a Jewish custom to wait about a year to place and reveal the gravestone of a loved one. It’s a beautiful tradition, I’ve come to realize. It’s a chance to remember, to reflect, to grieve together once you’ve had time to grieve apart.
But I dreaded the unveiling a little, if I’m honest. I wanted to say something for Pop Pop, but I worried I wouldn’t be able to get it out. I didn’t speak at his funeral, and I regretted it. It all happened so fast. He died September 13, and we buried him the very next day. It was all I could do to write the obituary and get through the whirlwind.
Maybe that’s part of what makes the unveiling so special, so needed. Time has passed. Life has moved on. But we return, we slow down and we remember.
A very dear grandmother passed away a few days ago. Not mine — mine are gone now — but close. It has me returning to all these feelings, and I want to finally share what I did say at Pop Pop’s unveiling. Yep, I managed to get all the words out.
Pop Pop and I were “the criers.” We cried a lot together, and then we’d always laugh about it. So, if I cry through this, bear with me.