As you probably know, my family and I have been busy with arrangements for my Dad’s memorial service. It was beautiful and went off without a hitch, but because he was a Military Veteran, it was his desire to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. My Mother is already there, so it is not a problem, but we have to wait until April. Why? Because it is right and proper for a Caisson to carry my Dad to his final resting place. The problem is that there are so many burials of this nature, that one has to get in line, so to speak, in order to obtain this manner of burial. As you can imagine, it makes for difficult closure. It also makes me wonder why we are fighting battles we cannot win. But that is another story.
My husband and I, our children, and future generations will probably be cremated. But my parents were from a different era, so we plump up a used up body with special fluid, dress them up, but them in a box for “visitation” before the Memorial Service so everyone can pay their “respects,” whatever that means.
I was busy calling countless people, but even I wanted to see my Dad. So when the time came, I walked up to the coffin, looked at him and lost it. I cried because I wasn’t there when he passed. I cried because it was all finally over. I cried because I would never see those sky blue eyes and that smile again. I caressed his head that use to lay on my shoulder. I pushed back his hair. Then I cried because I realized that what I was saying good bye to was just a shell in a box. Dad wasn’t there. He went with the angels. The Holy Spirit whispered from my heart and said, “It is okay, Judy. You are still living. This is all you have to grieve over right now. God understands.” I took a deep breath and took my time saying good bye to the shell in a box.
Dying is a part of living. How many times have we heard that one before? Do whatever you have to do to honor your loved one. Be respectful. Kabir said, “Why not look at the beauty your memory holds, so nourishing that light can be. The past’s lips are not deceased. Let them comfort you if they can.”
God Bless You, Dad. Wonderful memories live on and on.