Live Your Life So At Your Funeral Even The Undertaker Cries


I find that I learn something every time I attend a funeral…….It is easy for us to attend then over a short time to forget…..but we must not forget, we must learn…..learn from the life of others….

Yesterday I attended the funeral for 32 year old Greg Griego of Albuquerque. Greg passed onto heaven on Monday of brain cancer. It was Mark Twain who said, “Live your life so that at your funeral even the undertaker cries” That describes Greg, his life and funeral. St. Judes Catholic Church was packed with family and friends. My heat aches for Greg’s 10 year old daughter Jaelynn, his parents and his entire family.Greg Griego 1 Greg wrote this on March 6, 2012:

“It’s because of my daughter I love this life sooo much!

She is my world! Nothing like getting up in the morning to her

smile! The good Lord absolutely knows what He is doing.

All the hard times in my life were for a purpose! Part of life’s

lesson plan. We’re all part of a never ending story!

Thank you Lord for making me a father!”

The words of Greg Griego

Greg was raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico and his hometown newspaper, The Last Vegas Optic, wrote this touching write up on Greg’s life:

Greg Griego was born into this world on Valentine’s Day, in 1982, and that’s fitting because of how he lived his life.

He demonstrated his love for his daughter, his family, and his colleagues by being a good listener who inspired many. He was his mother’s best friend, his brothers’ role model, and the best dad he could be to his princess, Jaelynn.

On Monday, Griego succumbed to brain cancer – just seven months after doctors told him he had the illness.

Griego, 32, was well known not only throughout the area, but also nationally. He was currently employed as content manager and web designer for several Albuquerque-based radio stations including KISS 97.3 and COYOTE 102.5.

“He was an exceptional employee and person,” Larry Lemanski, general manager of the radio stations, said. “He was a joy to be around. Consider yourself lucky if you ever met Greg.”

He also worked in customer service for Delta Airlines for several hours before going to the radio station position. His airline job allowed him to travel the world.

“He will truly be missed in so many ways,” Delta airlines colleague Tom Claeson, said. “He was a very fun guy to be around, easy going, and always talked about his daughter and how special she was to him. He is in a better place.”

Griego’s death has impacted many, said his younger brother, Keith, during an interview Thursday at the family home.

Keith Griego said that since his brother’s death, celebrities have called offering support, and Delta Airlines is flying in family members and several of his colleagues to ensure they attend today’s services for the single dad.

“Greg was an inspiration to many and had a heart bigger than a lion,” Keith Griego said. “Greg was a man of faith, wisdom, hope, generosity, thankful for all blessings, and accepted all challenges and tribulations. He loved giving back to the community and provided many positive things to society and to charitable organizations.”

But Greg Griego’s life wasn’t always easy. Keith Griego recalled a time in his brother’s life when he had to live in his vehicle to get back on his feet.

“Life has not come easy for Greg, as life has challenged him on every step and every accomplishment he has ever achieved. When he has made it to the top, there has always been that something that tried to drag him back to the bottom,” Keith Griego said. “Greg has waited for that one break, that one dream that would be granted.”

During a rough time in his life, Greg sent his pride and joy, Jaelynn, to live with his parents, Michael and Iris, while he struggled and worked additional hours to get his life back in order. He eventually was able to buy another house for his daughter and himself.

“As a single father, Greg, had many struggles,” Keith Griego said. “But he always overcame the obstacles with an open mind and heart and a never-give-up attitude just like his favorite quote, ‘some men see things the way they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?’”

The Griego family traveled to various hospitals around the nation seeking help after the cancer diagnosis. They went to the Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University and other places in hopes of finding a cure for the illness. But through it all Greg Griego stayed focused and strong. He was diagnosed with the illness in early January and underwent brain surgery just a few days after, but the Stage IV cancer continued to ravage his body despite numerous treatments of radiation and chemotherapy.

Keith Griego recalled the times when his brother would never ask for help during his struggles and because of his own struggles Greg Griego was able to help many.

“Greg was always wise at giving people advice on what they should do or how they should approach it,” Keith Griego said.

Greg Griego contributed countless hours to charity, including deejay work to La Acedemia de Esperanza – a charter school. He also organized and hosted toy drives for the Boys and Girls Club of Albuquerque, a Zumba Dance Fitness party that benefited the New Mexico Autism Society. He was a supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Iris Griego said her son was scheduled to travel to St. Jude’s for some charity work the same day his treatment began several months ago.

“He was very strong and positive,” Iris Griego said. “He is greatly missed. I knew he was very special.”

Gabe Griego, another brother, said, “When someone he cares about was in need or hurting he would always take them out of darkness and lead them into the light. He wouldn’t let them take the easy way out either. Greg had a heart full of hurt, pain, sadness, and mourning, but the amount of love in his heart always overpowered anything else.”

Greg Griego, an avid Chicago Bears fan, also used his Facebook page to inspire many.

“Every time he posted something it was there for a purpose,” Keith Griego said.

Greg is survived by his parents, his brothers, sisters Anna Griego and Caroline Maes, sisters-in-law, Sarah Trujillo and Stephanie Bogle, a large extended family and many friends.

Services for Greg Griego were held locally earlier this week. Services in Albuquerque will take place with a rosary at 10 a.m. today (Friday) followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Jude Thadeus Catholic Church.

“Greg was such a strong person, not once did he complain about his illness, never asked ‘why me,’ never cried,” Keith Griego said.

Through it all, Greg Griego’s mother was with him.

“He always said, ‘momma, I am glad it is me and you, because we are best friends and we would get through this together,” Iris Griego said.

Pastor Dewey: I encourage us all to pray for Greg’s family and to also pray about what the Lord wants you to take into your heart and soul from Greg’s life.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.