December 5, 2018 was my Dad’s funeral and internment. The burial was under skies that threatened to break open into a rainstorm. The weather was appropriate for the dark occasion. When it finally did rain it felt like we were not the only ones weeping a difficult loss.
“All places are alike, and every earth is fit for burial.”
“It is death that goes down to the center of the earth, the great burial church the earth is, and then to the curved ends of the universe, as light is said to do.”
John 11;25 NRSVCE
This is the last post about my Dad’s funeral and internment that I need to get off my chest.
The Ride to the Cemetery
After the luncheon the internment was for close people. The interment was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. The pallbearers were people who were close to Dad in life. And they included a couple of people who passed away years ago. The entire day I very much felt like I was in a fog. It just felt disorienting and confusing. I got in the car and thought to myself how the limo had the new car smell. Then we headed off to the cemetery. The cemetery was 16 miles away but as the funeral procession drove to that location it felt like the longest time. I dreaded the internment and felt knots in my stomach. I was very sleep deprived as I didn’t get much sleep the night before. As we approached and then entered St. Peter’s cemetery the funeral procession came to a stop in front of the prepared burial site.
In Ominous Weather a Final Goodbye to Dad
The weather was dark, cloudy and overcast. It was deeply appropriate for a funeral and an internment. Together we walked to the area next to the grave. It was cold and the funeral home gave us a blanket to keep us warm as we sat next to the grave site. I was still in a daze over everything. A few close people gathered behind us. Someone put their hand on my shoulder. I had no idea who it was but I craved human contact and it meant so much to me. As I was sitting there the funeral home and the pallbearers lifted Dad’s casket and placed it over the grave. I just stared at it. I wanted Dad back; he meant so much to me in life. I couldn’t imagine a world without him. It was at this point that I started to weep and felt like I was losing it. My sister comforted me. The deacon for Holy Spirit led some final prayers. As we were listening to further prayers and sitting under a funeral cover that protected the deceased, family and loved one from the weather; it started to rain. One drop of water at a time against the aluminum protection and it sounded loud as the process continued. We weren’t the only ones weeping but so did the heavens as well. The deacon reminded those present about how people in the Lord will be resurrected one day.
Against all this while staring at a wooden casket roses were given to us. I placed a rose on Dad’s casket and kissed it while crying. A crucifix was given to me and my sisters. Then the ceremony came to a close. They were getting ready to lower the casket into the ground when my sister said she wanted to say a few things. She spoke eloquently and honored Dad’s memory. I was proud of what she said. With that they started the process of lowering the casket into the ground. I just sat there slowly watching it be swallowed by the grave. And with that the ceremony ended. We talked with a few people and had more express their sorrow. For each person Dad’s loss was different. For me I lost a father, for others they lost a close neighbor or friend. In the last few days I have been thinking about how this situation was different and I have watched how people have responded in unique ways of sorrow. For me the hard aspect to death was just beginning. My Dad’s funeral was on December 5, and his birthday was on December 7. When December 7 came I was numb, maybe it was because his death had just happened and I was trying to process all that occurred. But the grieving is going to be difficult. This I know as I dealt with this in Mom. I am still grieving Mom when Dad died. Now come the challenge of dealing with both parents loss.