Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Hero's Funeral

I've been struggling with what to write lately.  I've been doing a lot of processing and working through the emotions of losing a loved one.  I don't like to share the sadness or the struggle I have with death with all of you. I feel like it makes me seem that I'm dwelling on it. Or that I am being overly dramatic. And I hope you can all forgive me and offer a little leeway on these kinds of posts.

The funeral was beautiful.  It was a really special experience to go to a funeral of a retired fireman and veteran.  It was hard. But it was amazing.

Going into the viewing I cried before I made it in the door. The honor guard were there, standing watch as we entered the room and standing next to the casket.  I gathered myself together and waited through the receiving line.

This is always the hardest part for me. You know it's them, but it's not really them.  There is clearly something missing.  I'm grateful to know that, that something is his spirit and that his spirit lives on.

After getting to the casket, I walked past the honor guard to my dad. Where I break down again.  Trevon's a great support and took care of the girls while I had my cry.  He had even helped me explain to them what would be happening at the viewing.  I didn't know what to say to them and I didn't want to do that alone.

The next day we have the funeral. Which is also hard. There's a lot of crying because I can't ever hold it together at funerals. My dad speaks and so does the bishop.  My mom, aunts, cousins and my sister and I sing.  Then it's time for us to move on to the cemetery where I've been asked to take pictures.

I knew that Grandpa would have a fireman's funeral but I didn't know everything that went into that. After we get some pictures of the firetruck and hearse coming through "Heaven's Gate" (formed by the fire trucks ladders) we move to the grave site. When I get out of the car I'm a little overwhelmed when I hear bagpipes. Then I remember Grandpa saying to me "Just don't let them play bagpipes at my funeral." -Great, he's cringing right now. - (Later I learned that the bagpipes where how my grandma wanted it. And I felt better about it because I knew that they would be working that whole thing out together up there).

Watching my brothers and cousins carry the casket and laying it down where his body will rest for now, and I'm crying again. It's hard for me to see these guys, that I grew up knowing were strong and brave, emotional.

They fold the flag that was placed on his casket and present it to my aunts, uncle and mom.

There's a 21 gun salute and they play Taps.  Then they give my grandpa his last call. "Gean Lindsay was a loving  husband a father. A dedicated Firefighter who had served the citizens of Provo City for 26 years. He will be remembered for his many acts of kindness and service. Provo Fire Rescues offer last call for Gean Sheldon Lindsay, although you are gone, you will not be forgotten."

Then it's time to say our last goodbyes.  The pallbearers place their corsages on the casket and we slowly leave the cemetery. 

After experiencing this funeral, I quietly went back to my daily routine. But I was soon bothered by a lot of things that people have been saying about heros and courage.  I don't want to get too much into that because I don't feel that I want this blog to be a place for people to argue or to push their beliefs or opinions on others.

But I will say this. Changing your gender, your sexual orientation, or stating that you are a certain ethnic group just because you feel your a part of them does NOT make you a hero. It doesn't show that you have any greater amount of courage.

Courage has nothing to do with being selfish or self centered.  Courage is about sacrifice.  It's about standing up for your beliefs. It's about doing what is right, not what is popular.

My grandpa was a hero. My grandpa stood for the right.  He always thought of others first. He was a fireman, it was his job. But it was also who he was.

How many grandparents do you have left?

Whats your favorite memory of your grandpa?

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