We buried my dad today in Area 51. It was supposed to be a simple memorial for our family. It ended up as a cluster. Fortunately, the people who work at Riverside National Cemetery did everything they could to help us.
Forest Lawn Cypress botched the arrangements. We showed up to find no memorial scheduled. Instead, they were planning a quick internment. My mom was distraught, my sisters were pissed and determined to salvage the day. You don’t want to get my sisters pissed, they are formidable adversaries when friendly, when pissed, oh man…
The staff at the cemetery stepped up. Edna, a coordinator working out of the main office, worked quickly to arrange a graveside service. She was the recipient of many hugs and handshakes for her effort. I plan to write her a thank you letter.
We did the internment service without clergy, without honor guard, and without much preparation. My sister Kim read a poem she wrote earlier in the day. Her son said a heartfelt prayer. Her daughter read some inspirational words spoken at the funeral of my grandmother. Our service was short and heartfelt. I felt good about it.
The burial was an unemotional event for me. I wondered at this after. How could I go from an emotional wreck last Friday to a stable and solid son today? The only thing I can come up with is that the healing process has started.
I can see quite a few trips out to Riverside in my future. Mom will need a ride. I have a history at that cemetery. While in the Air Force in the early 80s, I gave military honors to over 400 serviceman as part of the ceremonial Honor Guard. I felt like a man at the time. I saw the Honor Guard today. They looked like boys. Time moves quickly.