Friday, September 17, 2010


A week ago, Ty's mother died. We knew the day was coming, but it just didn't seem to help ease the suddeness of it. The finality of death is something that I don't think you can ever prepare yourself to face. You can imagine what it will be like without someone you love, but actually facing up to it is quite another thing. As I watched Ty carrying the casket to the gravesite, I could hardly stand that feeling of emptiness- that hollow place where something was and will never be again. I know we will all be reunited in heaven, but there is so much separating us from it. I don't think I ever realized how far away heaven is until that moment we closed Virginia's casket, and I knew in real terms that I will never again see her in this life.

Alli seemed to understand and accept her grandmother's passing up until the bagpipes started playing outside the chapel. I can understand. Those dang bagpipes did me in too-it must be why Virginia wanted them. A lesser contingent of people held out after the bagpipes, but everyone else just gave up and cried away. Alli and her cousin Lexi where hitched together boo-hooing, and I wished we could stand there forever and soak it all in.

I heard Alli say to Lexi, "We're never going to see Grandma AGAIN!" and then more sobs on Lexi's shoulder, which was actually very touching coming from such small fry. I wanted to be the one huddled together with my sad little girl, but somehow I felt like her cousin was just the right size and perspective to comisserate with at that moment. I'm glad they have each other, and I'm glad that Alli was able to spend time with her grandmother when she was with us. My other kids will miss out, and that makes me the saddest.

Ty's family asked me to write the obituary, and here it is:

Virginia Mitchell Hansen, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away September 9, 2010 in her home, surrounded by her family. After fighting with diabetes for many years, it was her wish to end her days at home, with those who meant the most to her in life. From sons and daughters, to sisters, brothers, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many came to support, love, and care for her during her last week.

Virginia was a gifted and innovative artist and craft designer. She sold her work nationally through a family owned business, Decorative Designs, for many years, which she and her husband eventually sold to Provo Craft in the 1990's. Her painting techniques set new trends in the industry, and many of her pieces are still treasured today within her family and the community.

As a successful business owner, she was able to magnify her painting skills and teach others to paint. She employed each one of her children in turn, truly creating a "family" business that supported and nurtured both her family and hundreds of friends and neighbors over the years.

Her expertise was recognized by BYU Academy when she was commissioned to paint panels in the rose mulling style for the building.

The mother of six children and one foster child, Virginia loved her family and served them well. She attended all of her grandchildren's baby blessings, baptisms, and other important events, never missing a chance to be with her family. She was also an active member of the LDS Church, holding many teaching positions and other callings where she was able to serve.

Virginia was born February 19, 1942 in Provo, UT to Brigham William Mitchell and Mary L. Keith. She was married September 22, 1960 to Jack Kent Hansen in the Salt Lake City Temple, and is survived by her husband, six children, Jackie Schroeppel (Mark) of Orem, Kent Hansen of Orem, UT, Kay (Van) Parker of Kimberly, ID, Robert (Alicia) Hansen of Herriman, UT, James (Tamra) Hansen of Clearfield, UT, Tyler (Sierra) Hansen of Lehi, UT and foster daughter Vida Cleveland of Aurora, CO. She is also survived by seven siblings, twenty five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the Orem Hillcrest 4th Ward Chapel located at 440 E 800 S Orem, UT. Viewings will take place at Sundberg Olpin Mortuary, 495 S State Street, in Orem, on September 13, 2010, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and at 10 a.m. prior to the funeral at the 4th ward building. Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery.