The Death of a Matriarch

In honor of what would have been my grandmother-in-law’s 97th birthday, I remember her again in this space, and thank her again for encouraging me to try my hand at writing. Emily, you are missed. Thank you for your wonderful stories and your open heart.


I was looking through my closet tonight trying to decide what I’m going to wear to the funeral this weekend. l have a hard and fast rule that I only wear things to a funeral that I am willing to never wear again on the off-chance that it becomes “the dress/pants/sweater I wore to Emily’s funeral”.

Funerals make me sad, and that’s hard as part of my husband’s family.  They are quiet-solemn sad people.  I am a blubbering red-swollen-face sad person who blows her nose, a lot, and they tend to avoid me at funerals.  I do acknowledge that in this situation, my awkward fear of sobbing in front of them is nothing compared to their pain.  Emily was their matriarch:  mother of four, grandmother to seven, great-grandmother to my daughter and three others with three more great-grandchildren on the way.  Her 95 years on this planet were full of learning, creativity and love.

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