Random Acts of Living


Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Funeral

Does your family take coffin pictures? Some families don't. I remember dad telling me that he had an uncle that didn't believe in having his picture taken, something about graven images. But dad had seen a picture of this same uncle in his coffin, the only picture ever taken of him. On the Tuesday evening before the funeral the family gathered at the mortuary for the official viewing. Dad looked peaceful, at rest, sleeping the sleep of angels.

Wednesday, September 16 the little church in south Wichita was packed tight with friends and family.

The flag draped coffin stood stately in front of the alter.

Pastor Strother Gross was a good friend and joined in singing many songs with dad. The service was personal and from the heart.

Cousin Dianne requested to sing, I remember her singing at grandmother's funeral, dad's mom, so many years ago.

The pallbearers loaded the coffin up for the final trip.

Dad was a proud Marine and the color guard stood patiently waiting...

...along with the bugler.







Silently the color guard moved in determined form, raising the colors from the wooden coffin...

...taps began playing from across the headstones.

When taps had ended the flag was folded...

...saluted...

...and presented to my mother.

...the final farewell for a life well served.

The pall bearers filed past and placed their corsages in front of the grave.

Back at the church the ladies of the church prepared a wonderful meal for the family.

Cousin Dave picked up dad's guitar from the table and began to play...
...soon we all circled round and joined in. This is what we always have done when we get together.
The video I had put together for dad's 80th birthday played on big screen in the background.
And we sang, and we laughed...
...and we remembered that this is what we ALWAYS do. Below, the remaining two of the five brothers and a little sister.
And everyone noticed the absence of that golden rich tone that was my father's voice. A voice I could always pick out no matter how large the choir. I'll be listening for you, daddy.

7 comments:

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

This is so precious...the guard protecting and the presentation of the flag. I know he would have been pleased to hear the music and the singing afterwards. I bet he was smiling down and singing along...

Anita said...

Wonderful post... I'm sure he was there with you all...

Peter said...

Hi! No, we're not into photographing our departed but when my father-in-law passed away, my wife and I dressed him for the funeral. This sounds a bit odd but he would have loved us doing this for him as a last sign of respect considering he lived with us for so long.

Good to see that your dad had a big and truly special send off.

Take Care,
Peter

Oz Girl said...

Your dad had such a loving family, and what a wonderful celebration of his life. Hugs to you my dear...

Moonshadow said...

Thank You, everyone, for your nice comments. Needless to say, I've been in kind of a fog lately. I hope to be back posting before long, I've just had others things come up, too.

Kathy said...

I've been absent from your blog lately and I'm so sorry to read of your father's passing. What a wonderful tribute you've written in his honor. A special man, I can see. I'm glad everyone turned the day into a celebration of your dad, with music and fond memories.

Best,
Kathy

René said...

Oh man. I couldn't have picked a worse time to swing by and make up for my absence. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you're OK.

René