Yesterday my grandmother’s funeral was held and I had flown to Holland the day before to attend it. My parents, two cousins and me arrived at the funeral home attached to the cemetery in Nieuwleusen around 9:15 AM. We first had a chat with the master of ceremonies, the same person who had also been in charge of my other grandmothers funeral about 6 months ago, about the details of the funeral. Between 10 AM and 10:30 there was time for condolences and then the guests were asked to sit down in the chapel. The direct family then closed the casket after taking one last look at the deceased, always a bit of an emotional moment. Some of the children and grandchildren (including myself) then carried the casket into the chapel.
A church service of about one hour then followed, with the singing of psalms and prayers. The minister held a talk about my grandma’s life and also some of the grandchildren and my uncle Ernst talked about their memories of oma. Especially the personal stories were very touching, but the minister’s talk was quite disappointing. He made it all far too religious to my liking and he did not follow the guidelines that my mom and uncle had given him a few days in advance. A pity, but the families personal stories more than made up for this.
After the service we carried oma to her final resting place, next to her husband who had passed away over 50 (!) years ago already. The coffin is not so heavy if you just carry it for just a few meters, but we had to carry her quite far and I was glad that we could change sides halfway! At the grave we put the casket down and after a few words by the minister the coffin was lowered into the grave. We all put some sand on the grave and some of us put a rose on the casket. We then went inside again for a cup of coffee and a sandwich with the guests. This is a tradition in my grandmother’s village and it was an interesting experience. I hardly knew any of her acquaintances and friends, but quite a few knew about me (several even read this blog they told me), so I talked to a lot of people there.
Around 1 PM most people left and then the direct family had a lunch at Mooirivier in Dalfsen, a restaurant next to the Vecht river. After the late lunch we all went back to the grave during sunset, to say a final goodbye to our grandmother.