Thursday, 16 October 2008

On The Third Day

On the third day we buried dad.

My Father has always been so proud of all of his children. I know that he would even be prouder if he saw how we all came together to honour him and bring him to his final resting place.

When Jacquie and I went up to the hospital and my brother Harry was leaving to go see my Mom, I saw him put his hand on our Dad’s shoulder and say that he would take good care of him. And he did. We all did.

The day my Dad died I stayed home; I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to be with anyone. There were too many words floating around in the room and I just needed some silence.

I felt had I gone anywhere I would have blown a gasket. All the words I hold on to seemed as though they were being bastardized as they were spoken over and over. I understand all these words that comfort you; I have said them to myself for almost three years. I knew they were new to other people and had to be spoken of. I knew it was just me being angry.

When I was talking to Nadalene she said ‘Now you will see all the multi-dimensional personalities come out. Just remember that it is not about you or anyone else or you or anyone else’s ego. It is about Grandpa.’ This made me remember that everyone was doing the best they can at any given time. It also helped me to let go of my ego.

I really wasn’t there for a lot of the planning. I wanted to back off as I know I have a forceful personality and since I am planning my own funeral, I didn’t want to push my ideas onto anybody else.

Harry, Dwain, Colette and Shelly went to the funeral home and handled all of the affairs that entails. I believe Colette and Dwain picked out the burial site which is beautiful. It is by a road, across from the veterans’ wall, across from where my Mom will be, and across from a pond. It is right under some trees and it is beautiful.

Mickey took care of the food. Joey did the eulogy, power point, and posters. I did the obituary. Jeannine, Suzie and Daisy, Camille and Stacy, Jacquie and Ben, Corinna, Gerry, Lisa, Quinn and Gabby hung out with Mom and kept her company.

And everyone did so many things and handled so many details that I don’t know who did what or when. It was a collaborative effort by all of us and I am so proud of all of us.

I do know that Harry would recap with all of us at the end of the day to make sure we knew what exactly was going on. For that I was thankful, because it is so important.

On the day Dad died Harry, Shelly, and Colette stopped over and at one point we were discussing the grandchildren that would play a role at the funeral and of course how everyone would want their children because we all felt that Dad had a special relationship with each of them (which of course he did).

There were only nine spots and then I mentioned that at my funeral I was going to have my family (as in nephews and nieces) do everything (it is important to me that my family buries me). When we discussed all the things they could do, such as ushers, guest book, cards, flowers, readings, pall-bearers, we realized that we had about 25 spots.

I also mentioned that at my funeral I wanted to have a family procession going into the church. They seemed to like the idea and so that is what we did.

We had a private family viewing of Dad (I thought he looked really good) and then when people were starting to arrive, we all went to the church basement and watched the power point presentation Joey made. When it was time to go upstairs we followed in this order. Mom, Harry, and Jeannine followed by the rest of Dad’s children and their spouses; then the pall-bearers; and then all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There were about 120 of us and I have heard that it was unbelievable to see us all come in.

My Dad would have loved it. He always took great pride in the sheer number of us.

My youngest brother Joey did such a phenomenal job. He made a power point presentation; posters of Dad for the walls; and he did the eulogy. He sure did not only my Dad proud but the rest of us too.

After the funeral, the family went straight to the cemetery at Glen Lawn and when we laid Dad to rest we put the red roses from the church on the coffin and Nadalene had bought more coloured roses and we put those on the coffin too.

The cemetery was almost my favourite part because it was so special to see Dad surrounded by only his family. There were so many of us that it was hard to believe. We were a ring around Dad and it was a lovely sight.

Mom was not coming back to the luncheon and to meet with people so when everyone left they all went up to Mom and hugged her and it breaks me up now to write this because it was as if she was a queen (well, she is our queen) and all of her subjects were bending down to hug and kiss her and this process took a long while.

Mom, Camille and Jacquie went back to Mom’s house and the rest of us went back to the hall for the luncheon and to meet with all the people that came to pay their last respects to our Dad.

And this all took place on the third day.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post, Renee. You're so right..your dad was sooo pround of his entire family, and the sheer number of you all! He loved every single one of you so much! Looks and sounds like a beautiful place for him to be at rest, and for you to visit and talk to him. Your precious mom, I'm sure was so proud as well. Hugs to you all, from me.

flossy-p said...

It really sounds like a truly amazing day, especially with all that family, all working as one to come together in harmony. No wonder you are proud.

Still, it must have been very difficult for you. You did well. HUUUUG.

one little acorn said...

Despite the sadness, it sounds like a beautiful day with all of your family coming together and contributing in some way. Such a peaceful display of your love, support and compassion for one another and your Dad.