Here is my experience from Grampa’s memorial service. It was, to my disappointment, much more churchy than Grandma’s was. The majority of the service was taken up in preaching, where apparently the most important thing about Grampa was his love for ‘the Lord’ and the belief that he was now in Heaven with Jesus. I know the preacher meant well, but I felt rather offended and isolated from the service when he assumed that everyone in the service, and in the family, was a Christian. The hymns I didn’t mind so much, since I know they are ones that Grampa would like. I had some comfort in knowing that there were others sitting in the family pews that had similar feelings.
The part that was truly touching and meaningful was when my aunt got up and read pieces that she and my uncle and other aunt wrote in memory of Grampa. My favorite part was her story about how Grampa let them all be children and would laugh and play with them. They also went on long trips in the car, which was a foreshadowing of the long car trips cross-country that I would go on with my parents. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories. I can definately see where Dad got a lot of his personality traits and his love for travel.
So I had mixed feelings about the memorial: a sense of isolation due to the abundance of religious preaching, but also a sense of connection from the stories told by my aunts and uncles.