An Irish Wake

Much of this day was spent in final preparation.  I drove past the church where his funeral would be held the next day and pondered why.  Not “why” as in “why did he die?” but “why this church?”

Even though he was fairly light at the end, a solid oak casket is still heavy.

Look at those steps!

True there are going to be at least 8 pall bearers including me but still…

Anyway, by afternoon I had hit the florist and ordered an arrangement for the funeral home.  Then I picked out shoes with my daughter who hadn’t brought a decent pair for the wake.  How inconsiderate of her…  Mommy instructed me “no heels”.  My daughter instructed me “Daddy, I want heels!”  We compromised.  She got wedges.  Until this afternoon I could not have told you what that meant.

And how does one follow that…

At the funeral home we celebrated my brother’s life.  There was sadness, yes, especially in the first few moments as my mom and dad approached the casket.  They have now lost four of their children.  This hurts just watching them but they’re so solid in their faith.  What was gratifying was seeing the number of friends who came out in this weather — people I hadn’t seen in years.  My childhood best friend and his wife came and sat with us for two hours.  They delighted my mom with great conversation and helped me too with their presence.

This is what a wake is supposed to be.

This was love.

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