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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

'Till we meet again

My Grandpa Smith's funeral was held in Alpine, Utah, last Saturday. The obituary may be found here. It's difficult to pay tribute to such a beautiful life in a matter of mere hours, but it was a beautiful service. I somehow made it through playing the piano for the opening hymn, which was special for me since my love of the piano came from Grandpa. My composure left immediately afterward, though, and I went through many more tissues than Grandpa probably would have wanted. He liked to see us smile, you know.

There were halfhearted smiles throughout the day, of course, but a real one finally came at the end of the afternoon. I knelt down next to the casket to say my final goodbye, and Jake leaned forward and gave Grandpa a kiss. How could I not smile at that? Grandpa loved Jakey -- he called him his "little son" -- and Jake loved him back. It means so much to me that my son got to know my Grandpa, if only for this short time. I think Grandpa will be looking out for Jake for much longer.
I had the neat experience last week of putting together a slideshow of my Grandpa's life for the funeral. It took many hours but I was grateful for each one. I felt like I came to know and love and appreciate my Grandpa even more as I pored over pictures of his life before I was even born. He was so handsome!
And he and my Grandma were the cutest newlyweds ever. It was fun seeing pictures of their new, young love and comparing it to the sweet, enduring love they share now.
The slideshow was on display at the viewing along with pictures of Grandpa and pictures he painted. Along with being an incredibly gifted musician, he was a talented artist who won numerous awards for his work.

The memorial was held at a chapel and then the family drove to the Alpine Cemetery for the graveside service. Grandpa served in the Korean War, so the American Legion performed military honors at his funeral. My sister April is an officer in the Army Reserves and was the one who presented the flag to my Grandma. It was such a sweet, touching moment and I know that it meant a lot to both of my grandparents. After the prayer was given, my family stood at the casket and sang "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again." Then, reluctantly, we said our final goodbyes to a man so dearly loved.
Until we meet again, Grandpa. We love you so much! Thank you for being ours.


  1. Wow. That was a incredibly beautiful ceremony.

  2. Two beautiful, lovely posts in a row on your grandpa. I'm glad you were able to be here and to say goodbye. Your journal excerpt had me teary eyed- you have such a talent for writing and documenting things. And what an amazing ceremony.

  3. Beautiful post. And beautiful ceremony.

  4. Gorgeous! That made me tear up. I couldn't have sung a single note. I would have choked up at the first bar. My thoughts and prayers are with your wonderful family.

  5. Ashley, Im sorry to hear about your Grandpa. Loosing someone we love so much is so hard. Your posts about him were so loving, inspired, and beautiful. Through your words and pictures, I could feel the love for Grandpa Smith, and tears came to my eyes. He was such a special man to you. He is a lucky man to be so loved and had such a wonderful life. I can tell he will be very missed. Thank you for sharing.

  6. There were so many special moments, you did a wonderful job of capturing the beauty of this day. I'm so glad that Kaleb wanted to sing "God be with you till we meet again." I can't tell you how special it is for me to have my last memories with dad be of singing that song with my children surrounding me. I know that grandpa was singing with us :-).

  7. I am very sorry for your loss. However, What a cute blog! So excited I found it!!


  8. so sorry for your loss, prayers for your grandma and family

  9. Thank you so much for all of your sweet words. It means a lot!

  10. Ash, I'm so sorry for your loss. I was reading over it at work today, and had to stop, the photo of April kissing your grandmother.. and Jakey kissing him goodbye.. just all of it, so precious.
    And April's final goodbye.. oh. oh. oh.
    What a wonderful tribute you paid by putting together a video of his life, it is an honor to be a part of it, you know?

    All of it. So sorry, your grandmother and your family will be in my prayers.

  11. We were so sad to hear about your loss, and yet so many tender mercies leading up to your grandfathers passing and then very special times with family as you honored his life. I look at death now as a new beginning and it always make me feel so peacful about the passing of loved ones. Eternal families are such a blessing and yes he will still be watching out for each of you!

  12. So sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers!




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