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April 29, 2012

Today my son will receive his First Communion. He is thrilled, excited, nervous, all of it.

Three weeks ago, today, my grandmother passed away on Easter Sunday. Yet, somehow, she is here, present on this day that she would not have otherwise been able to participate in.

Our family has gathered for the second time in less than a month, driving for hours, or flying across the country. To be here. To celebrate.

My grandmother was always the biggest personality in the room. Whenever we had a family gathering, she worked the crowd like a politician, making her way to each guest, sharing a smile and a joke. This is the first family celebration since her funeral, and instead of feeling a void, I feel a sense of peace. She is here.

Instead of the sudden shock and sharp sense of grief that I have felt when we have lost other people, who were younger and died suddenly, there is a distinct sense of peace and completion surrounding my grandmother’s passing. Her timing, as usual, was perfect. I know my family was already worried about leaving her to make the journey here to celebrate Troy’s First Communion. She was the type of person that loved a good party. Today, instead of bringing a sense of grief or stress, the memory of my grandmother brings a sense of peace.

My grandmother was intensely involved with her family, while at the same time having a keen sense of when to step back and just watch us. Since my grandmother has left us, I have felt her closeness to us even more. Just watching Mary suddenly improve in so many ways, I know she is here. And today, as her family gathers to celebrate her great-grandson, I know she will be right there in church with us, beaming with pride in this communion of family.


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