A Blogging Break and a Farewell

12088226_10204356550752567_206741752638988746_nMy father-in-law passed away last week.

On Saturday, his children, their spouses and grandchildren gathered in the warmth of unseasonable weather at Saint Mary’s cemetery to dig his grave.

Yesterday, we filled it.

Tom now rests within view of the land he restored to native prairie grass and ponds (though anyone who knew him knows how much he complained about spending $40,000 on weed seeds).



Of course, no family adventure ever occurred without mishap.  The truck carrying away the excess soil got stuck, so we had to bring in a tractor.

Fortunately tractors are never far away in this little corner of the world.

I will be taking a break from blogging for a month and plan to rejoin you in April.



12801270_10204356552112601_4284381731961941772_nTom, I hope heaven awaits with a bottle of Jameson, a free cup of cold coffee and all the cookies you can stuff into you pockets.

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Author: Almost Iowa


42 thoughts on “A Blogging Break and a Farewell”

  1. As we start losing our parents in old age, it is one of the clearest signs available of the limitations we all face. And a challenge to live and love fully. It sounds like your Father in Law managed to do accomplish that.

  2. Sorry to read about your loss. I think it’s special that loved ones and those offering respect help dig the graves. I’m thinking it’s partially therapeutic in the grieving process. Of course, I’m sure people in CA wouldn’t understand if someone handed them a shovel. What am I supposed to do with this? What?

    You will be missed during your break.

  3. To all who have left their condolences here, a heart-felt thank you. My family and I appreciates your kind words. Since there was so many of you who left a comment, it would be repetitious respond to each one – forgive me for that.

  4. I wondered about your absence. And now that I know, please accept my sympathies at the loss of your father-in-law.

    That your family dug his grave is a wonderful final act of love. I want to hear more about this. Was this something he requested? Or how did this idea evolve? How long did it take to dig the grave? I simply want additional details because what family does this?

    I’ll miss your humor. But we’ll be OK, I think, until you return.

    1. People have been digging graves by hand around here for decades. Tom (Digger) Donnelly did it for a living (as his name implies). He is a relation and at his funeral, the crowd pitched in and buried him to show their respect. We were inspired to do the same for my father-in-law.

      It takes about two hours for one man to dig a grave and less than half that for two people who are periodically relieved by fresh diggers. You also have to realize that our local farmers do a lot of tiling and drainage maintenance. Digging is second nature to them.

  5. Sad news but an honor that you shared it with us. I will look forward to reading your posts when you deem the time is right. May you and your family heal with God’s help.

  6. Greg, I am so sorry for your loss and your wife’s. I can imagine he is sitting and enjoying his Jameson and enjoying the weather and the jokes tossed among friends. Have a good break, my friend.

  7. This is a beautiful and moving farewell to your father-in-law, Greg. And a break from blogging seems a very wise thing to do right now. I hope to read more from you when the time is right for your return.

  8. So sorry to hear of your loss. My sympathy to you, your wife, and your family.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your father-in-law was obviously much loved and I can only imagine your grief. Peace to you and your family during this difficult time…..

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