Rob's World

Tag: Oma

Eulogy for my Oma

by on Apr.06, 2010, under Uncategorized

Well, about a week ago, we had a few hours of viewing for Oma, followed on Monday with the funeral. It was unquestionably a bitter sweet time. On the one hand, it brought together some folks I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing in a long time (too long a time to be honest). On the other, it was not under the greatest of circumstances. As I recall saying to someone “Gatherings such as these only occur in times of great joy or great sadness. Sorrowfully, this is one of the later.”
Seeing family, friends, co-workers of my parents, friends from church as well as even our family dentist made the experience one that was actually enjoyable. Exactly as Oma would have wanted it. Getting to see Matt and Rebecca’s amazingly beautiful baby helped shed a circle of life feel to the proceedings (as did knowing that my little brother and his wife are due shortly!)
All of that said.. come the funeral on Monday, it fell upon me to deliver the eulogy. My dad was too choked up to truly be able to say much, as was his brother. My brothers could have done it, but as the oldest, it fell to me. My favorite part of the Eulogy was actually the night before, sitting around the table with my family and extended family as everyone traded stories of Oma. Random anecdotes, stories I had never before heard, as well as ones that have now been told a hundred times all came flowing out everyone. Each story was met with a laugh and a warmth in our heart that told us all she was still with us, in each of us.
Not every story made it in, but some did.. and over all the stories, everyone could feel Oma looking down and smiling, knowing that not only was she loved by all, but that she will continue to be forever.
The eulogy, as best I can recall how I said it: Eulogy

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How to feel at the end

by on Mar.25, 2010, under Uncategorized

Yesterday I received a call from my brother. My Oma had come down with Pneumonia. No one knew how she would do.. but the Dr wanted to pass on the warning.
This AM I received an email from my mom that she had taken a turn for the worse. She was very weak and wasn’t eating, but was just sleeping and was completely exhausted.
This evening, I received a call from my dad. She was lying comfortably breathing slowly, and then just stopped.
I am at a conference in Utah. I have spent the day talking with co-workers, partners, customers and the like. I worried a bit that those discussions would have less meaning, that I would be less engaged in them as this other stuff was happening. Strangely, the converse happened. Directly after the call with my dad, I had decided that I would go back into the conference (it was during “Meet the experts night, and I was mid conversation with a customer) and grab my bag, quietly tell one person what had happened to explain my departure, and call it a night. Instead, as I walked, lost in my own thoughts, I noticed an empty chair next to someone I had been eager to chat with. Without thinking, I plopped down next to him, and started talking technology. Started with some simple stuff, we moved to complex issues, talked about where the market was going, what things he had worked on that I could leverage both in work and in my personal life, and basically kept my mind fully occupied. I even mentioned to him at one point about Oma, he of course said he was sorry, and I then turned the conversation back to technology. I can’t imagine a better thing I could have done. It focussed my brain, allowed me to get into a state of rational thought, and at some level, be ok with everything. (It didn’t hurt that he is a Product Manager at Google, so I knew I had to have my brain straight lest I get washed away by the conversation).
After all of that, I talked to a few of my cowrkers, we all told some funny stories of loved ones that had passed, and I walked towards my hotel giving a call to one of my brothers. I broke down a few times in that call, but I think that’s natural.
Hopefully, this doesn’t mean I am a bad person, or that I am ignroing my feelings or anything, and it just means that I know how I cope with things. I guess everyone is likely different, and this was my way of feeling at the end.

(Side note: HUGE thanks to Dan Peterson of Google.. I had an amazing conversation with him, I learned a ton, and plan on utilizing ideas he told me and working with him in the future to explore new ways to utilize some of those tools. His enthusiasm is infectious, and he was cool with being used by me to control my grief, which I can’t say thank you enough for.)

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