After what seemed like endless delays, or problems, we finally got my father into the ground yesterday afternoon. The North Cemetery is plagued with insects – this time of year black flies but instead it rained. I had the yard fogger with me and the bug spray in my pocket just in case.
I’ve gone to many, many funerals. Leading up to this I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to people that they are for the living. I always go to show my support to people I care about in a time of great sadness. Until yesterday I probably never truly realized what an impact the simple act of showing up can have.
This was one of those life flashing before your eyes moments. My best of friends were all there, from kindergarten until now. People that have all held a significant piece of my life, people I truly love.
The service was rendered beautifully by a minister I’ve known since my early teens, one who I consider a good friend as well.
The military honor guard did their part in sending Dad off the way he wanted. Taps being played was the only real request Dad had. The flag was presented to my by a man who had worked with him at Westover.
It’s interesting the variation in rituals there are from place to place. In more urban areas after a funeral everyone goes to a public place for food and drink. Up here everyone goes to a family members home. When I arrived a good friend immediately said what do you need to have done and she and her husband set out he food. People arrived, helped themselves to food set out or found what they needed in the fridge. That’s when you know you have people comfortable in your home – they help themselves.
From arrival to the last person leaving the rest is a blur – as I knew it would be recalling the same situation when my mother died 17 years ago. These are the things you don’t forget.
All in all I did right by my father through the whole mess and the bonus was yesterday felt like a huge community group hug. Thank you all.