But the sadness is significantly lessened when the person who passes on was totally ready to go - unafraid, perhaps even a little eager for the next phase of their existence. Such was the case with the passing of Curtis's sweet/funny/fiesty/witty/sharp Grandma Helen Wells. She died two weeks ago in Salt Lake City.
I wish I had the wisdom to take more photos, but sometimes I get caught up in experiencing the moment and forget that I even have a camera. Even still, I did get a few family memories on (digital) film.
Annie with Grandpa Rice (Jim). He spent quite a bit of time holding her and they both seemed to like the arrangement just fine.
After the viewing on Sunday night, some of Grandma Wells' good-for-nothing grandsons came back to her house and played cards until the wee hours. Sure, they look respectable (would you believe there are two lawyers, a financial planner and a dentist in this photo?), but guess what happens when you lose at Hearts in the Wells family?
And everybody watches and takes pictures (it was a veritable stampede down to the basement bathroom). I used to think they took pictures to taunt the loser, to shame him, but I quickly learned that no, it's just because they think it's so funny. (Curtis has a photo album full of his cousins' similar shame.) The wives/girlfriends just shake their heads. But we can't judge each other because we all chose these men.
After the funeral on Monday, the Rice family wanted to spend a little more time together before Karen and Michaela had to fly back to LA, so we all went out for ice cream. Check out Conner and his enormous vanilla ice cream! That kid is so Norman Rockwell-esque. So cute.
Curtis and his sister Karen.
Grandma Rice, McKenna, Marc.
Tiny Kamryn ate a huuuuge strawberry shake all by herself. It was actually quite impressive.
Cousins! Annie, Kylie, Michaela.
Kylie spent every second she could with Annie. I LOVE this shot!
We don't see these people often enough!
Sisters-in-law Karen, me, Stephanie.
I even got to spend a precious few hours with Gwen and her family. What a great bunch of kids!