The words I shared today at my Granny’s funeral
Today was the funeral of my Granny (Kathleen Nundy). She died last week aged 96. My Mum asked me to share a few words during the service today, and I wanted to post them here too.
I know that many of you here today will remember that I shared a few words at Terry’s (Grandpa’s) funeral four and half years ago. Honestly, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done — and I’ve no doubt today won’t be any easier. But in thinking and preparing for the memories and thoughts I wanted to share today as we remember Kathleen (Granny), I quickly discovered how the stories and reflections that surfaced were mostly the same.
And then it hit me: of course they were. I see so many couples today who are still very much two independent individuals — just living under the same roof. They’re like two companies that have merged, but never truly united. But when I think of Terry and Kathleen - Granny and Grandpa - I think of them as just that: Terry AND Kathleen. It’s hard to even say one name without the other. Terry and Kathleen really were a true example of two becoming one.
It is because of this that perhaps the most precious memory I will take from Terry and Kathleen is their marriage. They were faithful, committed, and they truly and deeply loved each other. Kathleen was never quite the same after Terry had gone. Growing up I used to love watching them together. Even after over sixty years of marriage, you’d still seem them snuggle up to each other on the sofa, holding hands. It seemed they were always holding hands.
I’ve no doubt there were many tough times over the nearly seven decades of their marriage, and - as with any relationship - feelings and emotions can go up and down. But they chose to keep loving each other. They chose to honour their vows: til death do us part. And for that I will always be grateful. And together they have inspired me to both do the same — and to believe that it’s possible.
Thinking more specifically about Kathleen, the word that I found constantly coming to mind is generosity. She was a truly generous person. One of my most vivid childhood memories I have is of Terry and Kathleen arriving one Christmas to our house and then asking for help bringing in the presents they had for us. We went out to the car and there were these two HUGE Santa sacks that were literally overflowing with presents. And each gift had been individually wrapped. It must have taken her days. But you could see that she loved doing it. She didn’t give gifts because she had to; she gave gifts because she loved to.
And it wasn’t just family that were the recipients of her generosity. Kathleen loved to support numerous charities. Her generosity meant that she consistently put others before herself. Countless friends and family and benefited from her generous donations of time, money, and love. And how we will miss that now she’s gone.
One of the hardest things to see in that latter years of Kathleen’s life was her struggles with depression. Being part of a generation where many people felt depression was something people should just snap out of, Kathleen would regularly apologise for how she felt. ‘I don’t know why I feel this way,’ she would say, ‘I have so many good things to be thankful for’. It was heartbreaking. Depression has nothing to do with circumstances; it’s a disease in the same way that cancer is a disease.
But even in the midst of her many bouts with depression she did constantly remain thankful and she never stopped thinking about others. ‘I pray for you all every day,’ she would tell me every time I phoned her or we popped in to visit her.
I can’t tell you how encouraging it has been throughout my whole life knowing that I’ve been prayed for. Whenever any of we grand-children went to stay with Terry and Kathleen, we’d always go into their bed in the morning. We’d have breakfast and then we’d sit with them whilst they prayed through a VERY long list of names. At the time it was tedious and I couldn’t wait for it to be over — but now I could not be more thankful to have been on that list.
These few words will never come close to capturing the essence of the wonderful person Kathleen was. I am just honoured to be connected to her, to be her grandson, and to have been so thoroughly loved by her.
And whilst we here today mourn her loss and will miss her company, I’m truly glad for her that she’s now with the God who she trusted in completely, and back with Terry who she loved so devotedly.
Thank you Granny.