Last week I lost my last living grandparent. Now that I’m the unofficial keeper-of-the-family-history, one of the first things I do is update my records. Until now it’s been exciting and happy to input a new nephew or nieces’ name and birth date. Last Tuesday, however, I found myself entering that day’s date into the “died on” field.
The second thing I did was finally put the finishing touch on a video I made of my grandmother seven years ago. I interviewed her on Christmas Eve of 2001 and cut together a seven minute biographical video.
The funeral was actually a fun time. I saw family members I hadn't seen in a long time and I even met relatives I had never met before. A slide show of old to recent photos of "Maw" got us talking about how certain family members resemble her as a young woman.
We didn’t use the video in the funeral but I did bring a copy of it home for my family. My hope is that it will have the same effect on them as it has had on me ever since I started working on it. Years after “Maw” stopped communicating and became bedridden, seeing her on video gave me dreams of her being active and alive again. It was like she had been cured of old age. I hope my family watches the video and has those dreams too because that’s how I believe she is in heaven now.