We formally said goodbye to Lolo Dick last tuesday. He was cremated that night. That’s what he wanted.
The night before my mom asked me if I could give a eulogy on behalf of the grandchildren. There wasn’t any doubt in my mind as to what my answer would be. However, given what has transpired in the past few years I jokingly told my mom, “are you asking me or telling me?”. She fired back, “I’m telling you.”. I laughed and told her that I was just kidding and of course I’d do it.
I spend majority of tuesday preparing what I was going to say. I knew I wanted to say something from my childhood. Growing up as the first grandchild I had the most memory of Lolo. I wanted a bit of that. I also wanted to apologize. I wanted to say sorry for what happened between us. You can probably argue that I was his favorite, if not one of his favorites. Until the end, he managed to leave me with something. A valuable lesson in life. Something that I’ve already known but forgot. It’s that our time in this world is limited and we don’t know when we will die. It’s best to say/do things you need to while you can. I learned the hard way that I should have swallowed my pride and made things right between lolo and I. My only consolation is that he left me with this lesson.
A mass was celebrated at 5 in the afternoon, followed by prayers and the Eulogies given by Eliza (Lolo’s caregiver), myself and Tito Boy (Lolo’s youngest brother). A final viewing was held for all the mourners. Ever since I can remember, every time I’d go to a funeral I never looked at the deceased. I don’t know why. Maybe because I wanted to remember them while they were alive. However in Lolo’s case I broke that “tradition”. I wanted to look at him for a final goodbye. So at the final viewing I asked to be carried so I can see him. The casket was elevated so I really needed to be lifted.
Lolo was finally cremated at around 8 that evening. My mom, her brothers and sister and some other close relatives and friends witnessed the cremation. I didn’t go. I didn’t want to look. So I took my small cousins back to our house and waited for our parents there. I took the time to bond with them. I never really got close to my cousins because of our age gap. I needed to change that. In a way maybe Lolo’s death will bring us closer together.