This past week saw the passing of M’s grandmother Florence. Florence passed away due to complications after she fell and her untimely death was both unexpected and sudden, causing M and I, as well as his entire family up here in Boston, to head down to Long Island to attend her funeral and support his mother and uncles as they sat shiva for her.
I have been fortunate in my life not to have been a part of many funerals. I’m still not quite sure how to behave during this particular life event and found myself asking many questions that I never thought I’d be asking. Mourning is still so foreign to me that I wasn’t sure whether or not it was even appropriate to laugh at all during that time with M’s family. Seeing M and his family reel over Florence’s death broke my heart and it also made me reexamine my own relationship that I had with her.
Florence was a quintessential New Yorker. Having been born and raised in the Bronx, it was easy to assume Florence was only a tough as nails kind of woman. But beneath that facade was a person who had so much love in her heart and life. Her marriage to her husband Bernie was a relationship that was meant to be. Her love for her four children, 10 grand children and 8 great grandchildren was exponential. I myself got to know her over the last few years as I began coming to more holiday and family celebrations.
Florence and I always would spend a few minutes catching up and checking in on each other.My last memory of her was over Thanksgiving when M and I took her on a tour of Matt’s office and stood by the window admiring the view of Boston. She seemed in good spirits and happy to be spending time with her boys. As my dad would say, “May her memory not just be a blessing to her family, but to us all.”