Saying goodbye to dad was a special time for all of us with many mixed emotions. We were glad that he wasn't suffering anymore and we were sad that we were going to be missing him so much. The day of the viewing, mom and all of the us kids went to go and dress dad and then mom sat with all of us by dad and gave each of us letters that dad had written to us and a letter from her and a copy of Dad's patriarchal blessing which after I read it, realized that dad had fulfilled his mission on the Earth. It was like a check list with everything checked off! We had the viewing on that night of the 17th and then the funeral on the 18th. My older kids sure had a hard time that night. I felt for them. They are some of the oldest grand kids and have a lot of memories with grandpa. It was an emotional time for them. After the viewing was over, Jeff said that to listen to all of us, you would have thought that we were having a party instead of a viewing. There was a lot of memories shared with those that walked through the line and to see dad and even laughter. That's how dad would have wanted it. My mom said that he would have liked that party. It was so precious to meet some of the people that dad and mom talked about and have them mention how special dad was and the impact that he made on their lives.
The next day at the funeral, was harder than I expected. Someone came through and said that this is the hardest part and in my mind I kind of laughed at her, but then when we followed dad into the chapel, the floodgates opened and I didn't stop crying until it was over! I guess that it was bound to happen sometime. It was amazing though. Being on the stand with my only sister and all of my brothers and sharing that time in unity remembering dad was something that I will cherish forever! Daddy (the cruise director) was very prepared and had given us topics to speak on and even time limits so that the funeral wasn't too long. Everyone did such a great job! When I would look down at mom, I knew that she was going to miss him, but the joy that I could see on her face for her family overpowered that day and she was smiling knowing that dad was there smiling with her. Everyone did a great job remembering and honoring dad.
Thank you again for all of your support, kindness and friendship that we have felt through this time. I don't know what I would have done without all of you that helped and gave us kind words and offers to help.