After a lengthy battle with Alzheimers, we laid our Grandma to rest yesterday in a small ceremony that brought together our immediate family and those that had known her before the disease took over.
I was asked to prepare a short speech at her funeral, which I immediately recoiled upon hearing the request: how do you simplify someone's life in a few short words, much less your Grandma? Why was I chosen to do it?
I was not as close to her as some of her other grand children. Unlike my cousin's experiences growing up, she never stayed over at our house – ours was way too small – and at times it was hard for me to communicate with her. But growing up, we did see her every week. I was also reminded by my relatives of the fact that being her eldest grand child meant a lot to her, and that she would have been happy if I did it.
The task was daunting to me and I wasn't sure if I really wanted to do it at first. I had to ask myself if I was really capable of doing this, and whether I was able to do it justice for her. But after reading other people's experiences in delivering eulogies, being asked to deliver something like this should be treated as a gift, not simply a deed which you must complete at the behest of the ones asking. That hesitation turned to determination.
Even a day after the funeral, I still worry about it. Did I say everything that should have been said? Did I spend enough time on it? What did people think? What would she have thought? I remind myself that in the end, the only people that really matter is my family and my Grandma. Everyone else shouldn't matter at all.
Goodbye, Po Po.