The Eulogy I’ll Never Get to Read

57.5 years of marriage in this world. A love story like Carl and Ellie's. Always remember that adventure is out there <3

57.5 years of marriage in this world. A love story like Carl and Ellie’s. Always remember that adventure is out there ❤

Tonight I stood in the funeral home and greeted many people who knew my grandfather. For the record, this man looked absolutely awesome. I know that sounds morbid, but I saw him just three weeks ago, and he looked worse than dead in that hospital. People gathered to say their goodbyes. Much to my heartbreak, my grandma continually went to my grandpa’s body to kiss and hug his face. She cried for a good portion of the day over his body, but after 60 years or so of being together, 57.5 of them being married, I did not expect this to be easy. I took quite a few Xanax to calm my nerves and hold everyone together because I am typically seen as the rock that holds everyone together; a title that I hold with pride, but realize that it’s a curse as well. Tomorrow, I will say my last goodbye and the casket will close. Tomorrow we will take him to St. Tobias Church in Brockway, Pa. Then, we will take him to the cemetery.

I wrote this eulogy for my grandfather to honor his life, love and dedication to his family. I was so excited to read it in front of the congregation at his mass until the priest at his parish informed me that because my sister was already saying something that I would not be allowed to.

Awesome right?

That’s what I thought. I mean, why would I get to say my final goodbye? Why the hell is that fair? Why should I get the chance to tell the people what this man meant to me? My sister was getting to, so why was I any different? Or why would my cousin be if he had chosen something? In fact it was a good thing the priest said something to us saying I could not say my piece at the funeral because I was just about to ask my cousin if he wanted to come up with us. But I never got that chance.

Thus, here I am, heartbroken on many levels because I don’t get to say anything. The only person that will be talking is my sister. She can say a piece of my speech, but I’m going to be honest and say I don’t give a single shit, and I would rather my piece not even be shared. I wanted to say those things. I wanted to tell people how I felt. And I’m not going to get to say those things.

I’m turning to my blog, because I want to reach as many people as possible with the eulogy that I poured my heart into that I am not going to get to share with my family because of a rule. One rule, that ruined everything.

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The Eulogy of Anthony Salvadore Grecco.
January 15, 1934- February 17, 2013

My grandpa taught me many things in my 23.5 years of life. However I think the most important thing he taught me was how to love, which he showed everyday to his family, especially his wife.

When I was young, I watched Disney movies every single day. I wanted Prince Charming to come sweep me off to a castle in the sunset. I thought to myself, “That’s what love is supposed to be like.” As I grew older, I realized that all of those fairy tales were complete lies. I’m happy where I’m at and I’m happy with Kyle, who I’m with, but I would be lying if I said that loving someone was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I had difficulty loving myself all of my life, so I didn’t know how to even love another person. But, if there’s one thing I have learned in the last three years especially, it’s that when people dream of love, they should dream of the love and dedication my grandparents have had to each other.

Over the last few months I’ve been helping my grandma take care of him and I didn’t regret that one bit. If she called me, I went to help her and if I couldn’t go myself, I’d send Kyle. I didn’t care what time of night it was, I went. It was during this time I saw the love that people write about in books. She would make him dinner and bandage his legs. She would make him do his therapy. And even if he complained she didn’t care because they never really argued, they had discussions. But even when they got angry with each other, they didn’t let it bother them. When they left for Florida this year I went with them. The thing that showed their love the most is that they stayed up a good portion of that first night just talking to each other while I slept in the next room. They talked about life and anything and everything they could think of. I was sad I had to leave but I knew I would be coming back, though I went back sooner than I expected when my grandpa went to the hospital. And again, love was the only thing I saw between these two. She drove every day to see him in Tampa. And they sat and talked and my grandpa slept a lot. But she still sat there, every day, to support him. I sat there to try to keep his spirits up and it worked for the most part. On the day before I left to come home, I went there with her to see him. I held my grandpa’s hand and gave him a kiss goodbye and told him that I would see him soon. I said that because I knew that if this was the last time I saw him that I didn’t want to say goodbye because I don’t believe in goodbye. But he kissed me goodbye and I started out the door. My grandma gave him a kiss and said, “Bye buddy. I love you and I will see you tomorrow.” And he said, “Buddy you have no idea how much I love and appreciate you because it’s more than you know.”

And when I look back at that moment, I use that to define love. Love is everything it’s cracked up to be and it’s worth fighting for…. It’s worth fighting until the last breath for. That’s what their whole relationship was about. It didn’t matter what people said, they stood beside each other. It didn’t matter what obstacle they faced, they faced it together. When they took their vows on August 6, 1955, they took them with God, and when they renewed them on August 6, 2005, they reaffirmed that no matter what the circumstances: sickness or health, good times or bad that they would do it all together. They were married in this world for 57.5 years and they will continue to be married in the next. Their souls are forever intertwined because of God. I know that my grandpa left his earthly home, but his soul is still around to guide us all. His soul can’t ever die.

I want to thank them for giving me the gift of watching their love grow. Especially for the last three years. I learned how to be a better person because of them. I learned how to love myself because of them and I learned how to love others because of watching them love each other. I learned that dating and marriage isn’t about being selfish, it’s about giving as much of yourself to the other person and guiding them through life.

Grandpa, I grow every day in my relationship and all my other relationships because I see how you love grandma and still love her from heaven. I wish people could have seen how you loved her as much as I did in those last two months and I wish people could have seen how much she loved you. I wish that everyone that got married nowadays would take their vows as seriously as you did, because then there wouldn’t be any divorce. But, you came from an era where if something was damaged, you fixed it… You didn’t throw it away.

So, grandpa: thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving my whole family. Thank you for giving me my mom and making her so strong. Thank you for loving grandma and continuing to love her every day. Thank you for never leaving us because I know you’re still standing beside grandma, your buddy, holding her hand.

-RIP-

The Price You Pay For Growing Up

When I look back upon my life up until this point, there has been one constant that has always kept me grounded: my grandfather.

On February 17, 2013, my grandfather, Anthony Salvadore Grecco, Jr. went to be with God in his eternal home. Now, I find myself trying to find a compass to point me in the correct direction because the compass that I had is no longer in tangible and earthly form. And while I find myself currently lost, I have faith that I will find my way again through his guidance. His favorite saying whenever I became lost in what I was supposed to do was simple, “That’s the price you pay for growing up.” He had meant it to refer to life’s hardships, but now I realize a good portion of the saying is simply referring to death as the price you pay for growing up.

A common question people ask when someone dies is, “Is there life after death?” I can tell you that there is.

Everyone that knows me or that has read my blog knows that I had a best friend that was killed when I was 17. What a lot of people don’t know is that my best friend has visited me in my sleep many times to give me advice when I needed it the most.

Now, I know most of you probably think that I was merely dreaming, but I can assure you it was more than that. It was an out-of-body experience because I felt like I had floated from my body to heaven. Also, she had changed; she wasn’t exactly the same girl that I had class with and drove in the car with. She was somehow wiser and more beautiful than I had remembered, something only heaven can do. We laughed and talked about life. The most distinct thing I remember though is me asking her this question: “Kimmy, why did you leave me?” And she responded simply with, “I didn’t want to, but I had to.”  She then waved good-bye to me and I woke up.

Now, what does this have to do with my grandpa’s death? Well, I rest at ease knowing that he is with her as well as his parents. He’s also with a bunch of other cool cats I know that were gone from this world far too soon. But I know that there is life after this, and that life is eternally happy. Kimmy doesn’t visit me too often, but she always visits me when I least expect it. And it always ends up being when I need it the most. I know my grandpa will do the same. I find solace knowing that while his earthly shell will not be present for my wedding someday or when I have children, that his soul will be present for all of those events. I know he will be there when my sister receives her high school diploma and he will be ecstatic.

My grandpa left his earthly home and nothing more. He is still my grandpa because a person’s soul is who they really are. His soul was that of: husband of 57.5 years, father for 51.8 years, and grandfather for 23.5 years. His soul was a proud member of the United States Army where he served honorably in Korea as well as stateside. His soul was a member of the Knights of Columbus where his highest honor was State Secretary. His soul chose the Catholic faith.

I say his soul because it is important to distinguish the two, soul and body. God gives us a soul to be put into our human homes. When people die, their souls don’t die, their earthly home simply became unable to host them anymore. Whether they leave to be with God eternally or be recycled into another human home is something I am unsure of. But I do know that my grandpa’s soul is just as alive as it has ever been.

Death can be summed up in many ways, and a lot of other people do it better than I can:
“End? No. The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path; one we must all take.” -Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”-Dumbledore, Harry Potter

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Corinthians 15, as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Do not pity the dead Harry. Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

and, my personal favorite:

“The one’s that love us never really leave us. You can always find them, (points to Harry’s heart) in here.” Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I hope to make my grandpa proud and I hope to live the life of faith that he lived. I hope that those who mourn realize that they are not alone; our loved one’s souls are always with us. My grandpa looked at death and would say, “That’s the price you pay for growing up.”

And he paid the price, and he did it his way. And for that, I will be eternally happy.

I will put the lyrics to my favorite song of death on here. I wish I could say that I would be able to sing this song at his funeral, but part of me feels I wouldn’t be able to perform it the whole way through without crying.

I give you, “Into the West” which is performed by Annie Lennox and is at the ending credits of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Lay down your sweet and weary head.
Night is falling; you’ve come to journey’s end
Sleep now, and dream of the ones who came before.
They are calling from across the distant shore.

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see all of your fears will pass away.
Safe in my arms; you’re only sleeping.

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea a pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home.

And all will turn to silver glass.
A light on the water; all souls pass

Hope fades into the world of night.
Through shadows falling out of memory and time
Don’t say “We have come now to the end”
White shores are calling; you and I will meet again

And you’ll be here in my arms just sleeping

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea a pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home.

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water:
Grey ships pass into the West

Rest In Peace
January 15, 1934- February 17, 2013

The Human Virus

I for the life of me cannot figure out why human beings as a species is nothing more than an infecting virus.

Don’t agree? Well allow me to elaborate on my accusation. Viruses replicate and infect in order to thrive. Viruses will do anything possible to survive, even if that means destroying what is around them. Thus, human beings are a virus.

As I write this, I am watching the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

I stand for many things in my life including honor and equality for humans everywhere, but one thing I advocate highly is the ethical treatment of pets everywhere. I have two golden retrievers, Bella, who is four and Princess who is eleven. I also have one cat named Nibby that is fourteen years old.

If there is one thing that I absolutely cannot stand it is a viral human being that adopts a pet without doing any research at all and then decides to throw away said pet. It is absolutely disgusting. But, that’s exactly what a virus does, it takes over living particles and destroys them with intention of doing irreparable damage.

Research is so helpful when one goes to either adopt a pet or buy one from a reputable breeder. Now, let me make the distinction here between a reputable breeder and a detrimental puppy mill. The American Kennel Club has members that breed pure bred puppies. These breeders are trained and must be registered with the AKC. If you’re buying a puppy from a pet store, chances are that puppy was born in a puppy mill. My mom used to be a member of the AKC and we had two litters in my lifetime. We forced anyone interested in purchasing a puppy to go through a series of interviews with us and the mother of the puppies. If she, the mother of the puppies, or us felt you would be a terrible owner, we would not sell. Also, if we sold to a good family that perhaps decided later on that they could not handle the responsibility of the dog, we had a policy where we required them to return the puppies to us to ensure that we would raise them or find them new homes. A puppy mill is where people have dogs and force them to get pregnant over and over and over again so that they can get money out of the sales. Sounds disgusting right? Well it is. These dogs live in terrible conditions: flea infested areas, too many dogs to where they are on top of each other, living in their own urine and feces….and that is just a few of the terrible conditions that the human virus inflicts upon these creatures. And that’s just with dogs. The same thing happens with all animals: cats, birds, horses, pigs, cows, gerbils.

People frequently wonder why tragedies happen all over America. There are people who snap and go crazy and open fire in schools or upon government officials. There are people who become serial killers.

You want to know why? Scenarios like the one above are exactly why people snap and lose control. People get tired of the human virus and combat it in the only way a virus can be combated: they kill it

I don’t advocate killing in any way because I want everything to live in peace and harmony. However, I wish that people who snap and kill other people…kill the virus so to speak, would kill the virus and not the innocents. People that torture and are nothing more that a nuisance to the human population, perhaps deserve death. I for one feel that puppy mill owners and people who abandon any animal or torture any animal deserve to be tortured in the way they torture others. Death would be doing this virus a favor.

There is a young woman who I am Facebook friends with. She went to my high school and graduated two years after I did. She is currently trying to adopt a dog from Florida that was going to be euthanized. She currently lives in Edinboro, Pa. This is going to cost her approximately $800 dollars. She is halfway to her goal and is accepting donations for this cause. You can check out the Facebook event here. I donated and I hope that this blog will encourage some of you to help her save this dog. The dog was raised in terrible conditions and was infested with fleas. The shelter was just going to euthanize this dog, basically because there are so many viral human beings on this planet that just dump these creatures that they are now over-run with animals.

This planet needs change. This virus, needs to be dormant and never infect again. Human beings need to change because they are to blame for every single terrible thing that has happened on this planet. Honestly, what else does this virus do?

Human Beings:
Destroy habitats for animals in the wild all for the sake of progress.
Kill for sport, not for survival.
Take animals and use and abuse them….then let them go.
Start wars

Is this the legacy that people wish to leave their children? Because I certainly do not want to leave my children the world in its current state because it makes me cry on a daily basis. I cry because the world is such a beautiful place and the human virus does nothing but try to destroy the beauty in it. Every time I see a World Wildlife Foundation commercial I cry. Every time I see an abused animal commercial, I break down. It’s depressing, but that’s what the human virus does. In fact every time a tragedy strikes human beings I barely show any feeling because most of the time….

The human virus deserves what it gets.

We need to change, and we need to be the change we want to see in the world. If enough of us ban together, we can ensure this planet is fit for our children. We need to stop standing for the terrible things we do. We need to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves.

We need to not be a virus anymore.

We need progress, the kind that is good for all of God’s creatures, not just for human beings.

And we need it before we all get destroyed.

Please check out this link and consider donating to my friend. Also, I encourage you to donate to your local animal shelters. If you’re interested in adopting an animal, check out Petfinder for a list of adoptable animals in your area.