Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ode to...Final

Getting up the morning of the funeral was a chore. I stayed up late, not because I couldn’t sleep but because I wanted to vegetate alone for a while. When I went up stairs for bed I turned on the TV and watch Sand Lot. Its funny how there are certain things like movies or music that help you escape for a while and that movie did it for me. I feel asleep around the time that the kids tried to get the baseball away from the big dog and woke up during the final credits. It was 3:00 AM so I turned off the TV and went back to sleep.

I didn’t want to get up but it was time to get moving. Everyone was dressed and ready about ten minutes after when I would have preferred but we still had plenty of time before we had to be to the funeral home. We were the first to arrive by a couple of minutes and talked with Pastor Bob for a few minutes until my sister arrived. The finality hadn’t real hit yet.

We all took a moment to be with dad. My family went up and had our last private thoughts about him before the people started to arrive. As everyone started to appear, we greeted everyone with a smile, hand-shake, hug or a combination of the three. Eventually, everything got started as everyone was invited for one last moment with dad. The PE family was second to last, just before my sister and her family. We held each other as we looked at my dad for the last time, tears falling from or pooling around our puffy eyes. We stepped out of the room before they closed the casket…the beginning of the rest of my life without my father.

We sat down together on the couch that was to soft. It would have been a great place to take a nap but it sunk down to much for my liking. I half listened to the words being said and choked back the tears…kind of anyway.

Sing “Amazing Grace” was a bit of a chore for me. I skipped some lines and ignored the off key signing from the group of people in the room. Its hard to sing sometimes. And as Pastor Bob went into the Homily, I perked up as he talked of my father. A man he din’t know but understood from conversations he had with my sister and I. I can’t imagine anyone else doing a better job then he did to describe my dad.

The Aurora Pipes and Drum group played a song as the pall bearers carried him to the awaiting car. The funeral procession was long and we had to wait a bit for everyone to arrive at the grave site. There were words spoken, music played and gunshots fired signifying who my father was. There was ice everywhere which is much better then the mud that would have been there the day before. We cried…and it was over.

People drove away in their cars and went to work, headed home or came to the luncheon we had. I have always found it strange that we feed people after words when in reality we have just spent a lot of money and could use a hand out. But it is a time to gather together in remembrance and as in most cases, we had way more food then we needed. It was nice talking to my aunts and uncles that have been away for so long. We talked about getting together this summer but who knows what will happen. Either the death of my father will bring us back closer together or will be the thing that all but ends any relationship we had.

As we packed everything up I thought of all the other people I have known who have done this same thing. Give some food here and send some flowers there…It is almost as if we are giving away those feeling we have just tormented through. It can be a burden dealing with all the flowers and food…but I would do it all over again for my dad.


Dr. Pauly said...

Thanks for sharing these moments.

OhCaptain said...

Thank you for sharing. I've read every post.

Again, my thoughts are with you and your family.

jamyhawk said...

I'm sorry to hear about your recent loss. My prayers are with you and your family to find the ways to grow stronger from this.