My father passed away a few weeks ago. His funeral was Saturday.
My dad and me in 2018
Jackie and I found a place to board the dog, and then made a lightning-fast trip to Kalamazoo, driving up on Friday, hanging out with Katy that evening and the next morning, attending the funeral, and then heading right back home.
My brother and my dad in 2015
All of Katy’s kids came, along with their spouses. It was good to be able to visit with them as well.
The funeral was at People’s Church, the Unitarian church that my family attended from some time when I was in late elementary school. It was a great church, offering a spiritual community that avoided being laden down with a bunch of “god” stuff. I had not previously met Rachel, the current minister, but she did a great job, talking about the value of mourning, the value of sharing stories.
Along with Katy and her kids and their spouses, Jackie and I stood outside the sanctuary and shared a few words with each of the more than 100 people who came to celebrate my father’s life. There were many neighbors who had met them just in the few years that they’d lived at Friendship Village, neighbors from their old neighborhood on 5th street, many of my father’s former students, and more of my father’s old colleagues than I had expected, given that he had outlived so many of them.
After the funeral Jackie and I hit the road straight from the church, and headed on home, getting in just about dusk.
I’m glad to have gone.
I wrote a few words about my dad to read at the funeral. I’ll post the text in a bit.
It sounds like you had as pleasant an experience as possible. Great pictures of your dad. You look like him. I especially like to picture of him in front of the Vivarium. I used to live near there on 4th Street and passed it on my way to work at the old Coordinated Science Laboratory, now the Engineering Sciences building. The Vivarium was also on one of my regular running routes for many, many years.
When he was a grad student, my dad’s office was in the Vivarium building, and I think Shelford was his thesis advisor.