I was out most of yesterday. My Aunt Eleanor Bayne passed away recently after a very full 87 years of life. So yesterday was her funeral. There was two parts to this funeral, the first was the viewing at the cemetery early-ish in the morning, followed by the internment. Then in the afternoon there was a memorial ceremony. Aunt Eleanor was a very good person, and I'm sorry I never really got to know her as well as I probably could and should have. The bulk of the time we spent at her house was when I was too young to appreciate good conversation over tea and her wonderful baking. Well ... I appreciated the baking, but not so much the conversation. I do know that she was well loved and that she was quick to give her love out to the people who were a part of her life in any small way. She will be sorely missed. I (thankfully) haven't had to deal with death very often in my life. There have been a few funerals I've been to since I was old enough to start to understand what death meant. Each time, particularly for the three that were untimely, you kind of have to think about how short life is, and how precious it is. It makes me wonder if I am doing all I can with my life. Is it enough to just be happy and comfortable? What else is there to make life worthwhile? Twice in my life I've had to deal with someone in my grade or university year pass away in an untimely fashion. Both times it was a shock - how can death come to someone so young? How is that a fair way to go?
As much as we will miss Aunt Eleanor's presence in our lives, I am very thankful that she lived a very fulfilling life. In the past couple of years she has been suffering a great deal due to health problems, and in the end this may be for the best. I really don't like to see people suffer for long periods of time. I certainly wouldn't want to go through that much suffering.
The funeral was nice for the most part. I had a few complaints though. The internment was held in the cemetery which is a naturally wide open area. The wind was blowing, and it was pretty cold (although at least the sun was shining). The pastor drew the service out much longer than I thought was appropriate for the several older people in the crowd (and really for my comfort level too). My Grandparents were of the same opinion, so I wasn't alone on that score. Later, the same pastor did the Devotional near the end of the memorial service, and I was none too pleased with the full three point sermon he gave. It felt entirely inappropriate to me. But I will attempt to delay that rant for a future post because this is not really the place for it.
Other than my complaint about the pastor, the memorial service was excellent. We got to hear from several of the people in the family. Their memories, stories, and gifts of music were shared, and it really was a lovely ceremony. Very fitting for someone as lovely as my Aunt Eleanor.