Saturday, March 24, 2007

2:58 PM

THE FUNERAL was Thursday. Attended by nearly 300 people, including extended family members I didn’t even know I had (more on that in a future entry), it was a beautiful service. I read from the Book of Hazelle in tribute, the pastor delivered a fitting eulogy centered on love, a close friend of the family sang a heartfelt and soulful rendition of “It Is Well With My Soul,” and four of his best friends, all of whom knew Daddy for at least 25 years, were pallbearers, along with my husband and I.

Daddy was buried at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, about 45 minutes south of Milwaukee in Union Grove. The burial included military rites, complete with the folding of the flag that had draped his coffin, a three gun salute, and the trumpetsong of “Taps.” The latter completely blew my mind. I’ve heard the song on television and in film, but to hear it live—and for my father—choked me up. It was the final send off, a perfect coda for a life well-lived. Sure Daddy deserved such an honor as a veteran of the Second World War. But he deserved it even more for the great example he set as a civilian.

To know him was to love him.

Yesterday was probably the worst day emotionally for me. When preparing for the funeral and all that it entails, it’s hard to take a moment to embrace the gravity of the loss. The day after, however, I could hardly get out of bed. I felt like a kindergartener, whining the words, “I just want my Daddy,” most of the afternoon and evening till my husband departed for Maine.

Today, a teenager, I’m slowly coming back into myself.

5 comments:

Reunited Dan said...

Craig,

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dad.

From what I read in your book and your posts, he sounded like a wonderful and good man.

I know you will hold your memories of him close.

Dan

Matthew Florence said...

My sympathies, Craig.

wilma said...

With tears in my eyesI red about the funural. Jop also told me about the beautiful servce!
Take your time, lieve zwager, to get your live togehther without your dad. He deserve it that you are missing him that much!
Take care

Liefs

maryanne said...

Craig,

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Daddy. I lost both my parents in the past 7 years and know that lost feeling.

I met you at AAC and bought your book which I am really enjoying. I am the birthmother who read some poems in the reading group. I'm very impressed with your writing, with your story, and with your courage.

May angels greet your Daddy and may your memories of a good man be a comfort to you.

Peace,
maryanne

kim.kim said...

Craig,
I am sorry you lost your father. I can tell from what you write he was a wonderful man.