As you know, last Thursday was my father in law's funeral. I have a story to tell you of something that happened that day. Pay attention, because some day if you have to arrange a funeral, you need to remember this.
Most of us took our own cars to the cemetery. We followed the hearse and the limo to the gravesite and watched from our cars as they wheeled the casket over and put it into position. Then we watched as the military honor guard (three soldiers in dress blues) position themselves around the casket. My father in law was a US Army veteran.
Then we all got out of our cars and gathered behind the limo waiting for my mother in law to get out. We waited and waited, but she didn't get out. Someone called the funeral director from the funeral home over to the limo. Then he went over and spoke to someone standing near by from the cemetery. That guy got on his cell phone and called someone. None of us had any idea what was going on, but obviously something was wrong.
My brother in law came over to us a minute later and told us they opened the wrong grave. Then a few moments after that, a couple of people from the cemetery pulled up in a car. The funeral director and a few people from the family all gathered together with them to discuss the error and what they were going to do.
They decided that the burial ceremony would be held as planned. The correct grave would be opened as soon as we left and my father in law moved and interred there. My mother in law, her sister, my sisters in law and their cousins would come back when the grave was ready. That would take a couple of hours. First they would visit family graves near by, then Barbara's grave which is in the same cemetery and then go to two other cemeteries close by to visit other family members that are buried there.
After the ceremony, we all walked over to the correct gravesite and visited my father in law's parent’s graves. That was about 100 feet to the east and where the family plot is. My father in law was eventually buried later that day next to them.
After that, most of us drove over to another part of the cemetery to visit my late wife Barbara's grave. That was pretty rough for some. You see, this was the first time my mother in law, one of my sisters in law and my son Brian had visited the grave. It was only my second time there myself. I was there for the first time last month on September 18th, which would have been Barbara's 57th birthday.
They were all very upset, which is expected, but it was especially difficult for my mother in law and my son. I still can't imagine what it is like to bury your daughter and for a child to loose his mother at such a young age, Brian is just 24. Barbara passed away last October 17th. It will be a year ago next week, that she has been gone. Wow, that long already?