Today, we laid Poppo to rest. I watched Nana and her children receive family and friends offering their condolences. Poppo was a loved man. There were so many that came through to offer kind words and tell us how much Poppo meant to them.
As I watched from across the room, a young woman spoke with Nana and the children. I could see the pain in her face and the tears in her eyes. This was a woman who loved Poppo and grieved for him. When I asked who she was, I discovered she was the nurse that admitted Poppo to the hospital. She said, “I know I just met him and only knew him a little more than a week, but I loved him.” That was a testament to the kind of man Poppo was, and the kind of life he lived.
Poppo was buried at Oxford Memorial Gardens. Poppo was buried with military honors, complete with a gun salute. As the honor guard carried Poppo’s casket to the grave, a bagpipe played “Amazing Grace”. The graveside service was a beautiful service, fit for a wonderful man; yet, at the same time, filled with sorrow and grief. How can something be beautiful and filled with grief at the same time?
As I sat in front of Poppo’s casket and watched the honor guard fold Poppo’s flag, my body shook and tears poured down my face. My insides felt like something was being ripped out.
I feel selfish, almost like I don’t have a right to feel this overwhelming grief. After all, I am just the daughter-in-law. As brokenhearted as I am, how could I possibly understand the grief that Nana, Tom and his siblings are feeling? I feel like I should be strong for my family, but all I want to do is find a corner and cry.
Everything reminds me of Poppo. Yesterday, I took cloths out of the washing machine and found some of Poppo’s clothes, which instantly brought fresh tears.
I know Poppo is with our Father, and it is a much better place than here. I am so thankful for the time I had with him, but I am also selfish. I just wanted a little bit more time. What I wouldn’t give to hear him say, “Hey, Cookie” and watch Ella crawl up in his lap to rock.
I love and miss you, Poppo.