Monday, June 01, 2009

A little bit of Friday

I haven't yet processed a lot of what's been going on, but I have to say, Friday was very cathartic. I'm still completely exhausted, and emotionally, I'm kind of a limp little dishrag.

But I want to get some of these details down before they fade.

I'm so glad about the service.

The top picture was on the front of the program, and the second picture was on the back. I think they capture my dad's professional and whimsical sides.

Friday was lovely, it really was. So many people who loved him, who love us, came to share in our grief and our celebration of his life.

Our friend Jonathan hired a bagpiper to play out front at the beginning and end of the service. I don't know what all he played, but the song I heard on the way in was, "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore." On exit, he played "Amazing Grace."

I don't like bagpipes except at funerals, where they are so mournful, so perfect.

The service itself was beautiful - very personal. It was in a church, but not churchy. One friend, who is Jewish, got up to speak, and said that she had a lot of stories to tell, but she'd decided to skip some, lest the cross fall down off the wall on top of her.

These are our people.

Our family friend Pat gave the most amazing eulogy. People keep telling me how perfect it was, and it was.

Several family friends and I were on the program to speak, and Tori sang Vissi d'Arte, which was spectacular. And then we invited others to share their memories. And people told wonderful stories - both happy and sad.

There were a number that I liked, but this one is just so my dad.

An old colleague who couldn't be at the service emailed a friend to read this memory:

He'd worked on the same project as my dad, but in Washington, while we were posted in Delhi. And with the time difference, he regularly called my dad for work during our dinner hour. Which annoyed my dad no end - a fact that he voiced regularly to this colleague.

So at some point, this man came to Delhi for meetings. And one night, at 2 am, he got a phone call from my dad. Being sound asleep, he awoke in a panic, surprised to hear my dad's voice on the phone.

"Hi! Are you asleep?"

"Yes, yes I am."

"That's good. I just wanted to make sure you were sleeping OK. See you in the morning!"

So very much my dad.


  1. I'm so glad Friday was cathartic, and that you've increased the number of funny and touching and lovely stories you have about your dad. Cherish those, and he'll never be far.

  2. I'm so glad Friday was a "good" day. I thought about you alot this weekend.

    I have to comment on "she had a lot of stories to tell, but she'd decided to skip some, lest the cross fall down off the wall on top of her."
    After my uncle died we were all at my grandmother's (Mary) house. A group of us were sitting in the kitchen. Mary and some people from church were in the other room. After about an hour my great aunt (Mary's sister) yells from the kitchen: "Are the church people gone, Mary? Can we say fuck now, Mary?" BTW, they were NOT gone. :)

  3. Sarah - The stories were great, they really were. It was amazing to hear how many people he touched profoundly.

    Cheryl S - Thanks for thinking of me. It was hard, but really good. And that really made me laugh. "Can we say fuck now, Mary?" Hahaha.

  4. Not much I can say, except that I greatly admire your strength.

  5. I hope that the workds and memories can bring a lttle peace to your heart.

    He sounds like he was a great man.

  6. I'm glad that Friday was cathartic for you. The bagpiper was a beautiful gesture.

  7. I'm so happy to hear that the service went well, and what a funny story. I was thinking about you all weekend.

    I actually loved my brother's service for all of the funny stories people told about him. His co-workers (that I hadn't known) clearly loved his humor, and they had us in stitches at his service. He had a really hard life, but it was so nice to hear all of the great things about him.

  8. I was thinking of you this weekend, so glad the service was cathartic. looking forward to hearing more funny and poignant stories as time goes on. love you, soph

  9. haha
    your dad is just so handsome (i know i've said that before, but look at 'im!)and from everything you've told us about his personality he was a hoot and just a wonderful man all around.
    you're so lucky to have had him in your life!

  10. I'm glad it was a positive experience, and I'm glad you got to hear others' stories. Also, hugs.

  11. I'm so glad that you got to see how many people he influenced, and made laugh. Although it was likely difficult for your entire family, I'm sure you'll think back to the stories told often. We were thinking of you this weekend as well, and hoping that it went well.

  12. Those are great pictures! And I love that story!!!! The ceremony sounds like it was beautiful and you were surrounded by people who loved your dad! That's a great thing to hear!!! I'll continue to send you positive energy and have you in my thoughts!! Hugs!!!!

  13. Friday sounds truly beautiful. You were in my thoughts all day. (((hugs))) and more (((hugs))) to you, Betty, your family, and that little boy you are carrying!

  14. So glad to hear that it was the absolute best it could be, my dear.

  15. I love the pictures, especially the first one. He looks like a movie star.


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