Farewell to Grandpa

A few days ago, my grandpa on my mom’s side died of liver cancer.  The funeral was yesterday.  I’ve been in Michigan for the past few days, and I’ll be here for the next few.  It hasn’t been too hard on me, though seeing him in the casket was very uncomfortable.  I’m down to one grandparent, and she’s not doing incredibly well.  She’s going to need a lot of support for however long she has left, but she’s lucky to have a good family.  Fortunately, she doesn’t have any immediate health threats.  She’s handling it exactly as a woman who loved her husband of 50+ years should.  I only hope I can show as much strength if I ever have to face this kind of thing.

My grandpa, John Felmlee, was around 75 I think.  He still had command over his mental faculties, though he watched a lot of Fox News and couldn’t stand Obama.  He was very anti communism, which I can definitely understand.  I was told that despite the fact that he was a staunch atheist all his life, at the end he got a bit religious.  He didn’t ask for a religious person to perform any hoodoo on him, but when he was asked if he wanted someone like that, he said yes, though he was gone before he arrived.  At the funeral, there was some religious garbage, and that really bothers me.  There we were at what was supposed to be an event for remembering my grandpa and all the people whose lives he affected, and they had to waste some time yammering about how it was all about Yahweh.  Grandpa wasn’t so childish that he clung to crap like that during his life, so why bring it into his funeral?  If he was conscious in any form, he’d have told the guy he asked to speak that he should have asked somebody else.  But he wasn’t.  He’s not in heaven or valhalla or the elysian fields.  He’s in a box, and soon he’ll be a pile of ashes in an urn.  There is no reason to believe he was anything more than that.  Of course I understand why people want to believe there’s more, but it takes a profound level of mental deficiency to actually delude yourself into thinking it’s true.

During dinner later, someone said “he’s definitely in heaven now”.  I wanted to say no he isn’t, but it wasn’t the time for a religious debate.  I’m not so insensitive that I’ll begrudge someone their silly superstitions at a time when they can’t handle reality without them.  But when I do that, I’m treating them like children, and these are grown men and women.  It goes to show you that some people never completely grow up.  They take an event that should be about honoring a great man, and they make it about supporting their desperate need to think that someone else is in control of their destinies.  It’s selfish.