I exhaled deeply. We walked from the church into an overcast sky, and waited as the pallbearers carried my father’s casket into the hearse at a gentle and steady pace.
It felt good to feel the crisp fresh air on my face and watch the serenity and purity of the snow falling gently and silently on the streets.
To lead the procession of mourners to the cemetery, immediate family followed the hearse as friends and family drove closely behind with their car lights on.
As we reached the grave site, the casket lifted and carried out from the hearse to the grave, an attitude of somberness prevailed.
Gathering around the mourners, we all stared, while the ground-keepers gently lowered my father’s coffin more than 10 feet to the earth. Heartbreaking all too evident.
I felt I was watching someone else’s life. It felt surreal. I felt as if time stood still.
After we prayed, one by one, each person threw a red rose in his grave. Looking into the ground, I knew his flesh and bones were in the coffin but his spirit/soul was around trying to comfort us. What would he have said?
Being at the mercy of the weather, we began to get into our cars. Everyone was silent. We were all in our thoughts – reflecting/absorbing our experience that morning.
As we drove away, I looked out the window and noticed we left behind our footprints on the snow.
Happy Fathers Day to E V E R Y one! XO
Update: I wrote this two years ago and to refresh my memory, I asked a few of my family members “what do you remember”?
mother: “Oh, it was a horrible day. The weather was horrible” lol
son: “My shoulder is not the same, that coffin was ‘bleepin’ heavy” hahaha
sister #2: “ I don’t remember my son being there. Do you”? Lol
Sister #4: It was a beautiful morning. Felt peaceful. It was snowing lightly, the trees and scenery looked like a landscape painting. I felt sad and surreal at the same time.