At the same time that I was very caught up in the details of construction and inventory, websites and business cards, my grandpa, who has been on the decline for awhile, had a stroke. We arranged to build him a casket. Some years ago, my father, who always seems to have unique connections and ideas, saved the trunk of a black walnut tree that was cut down from the Manti Temple Hill. With the special story behind the wood itself, a beautiful black-walnut casket was built. It was stunning. As I worked on the lining and sewed the pillow I thought about Grandpa. And then it happened and my grandpa died on May 8th. His funeral was held this last weekend. It was such a privilege to be a part of the creation of this final resting place for his body, at the foot of the Manti temple.
I know a funeral isn't a place that many people want to ever be. And I can't say I want to be there often, but his funeral was amazing. I loved seeing so much family after so many years. I loved sharing memories about Grandpa and laughing together at just how much my own boys resemble those old pictures of Grandpa and his young family. I felt so strongly the love of a Heavenly Father who is watching over all of us and who promises that families have the potential to be reunited again after this life. I will miss my grandpa, but I left the funeral services with a new determination to live life fully, to love wholly, to work hard and to find joy in the small moments.