When I updated WP last week, I lost the ability to opt out of the clunky block editor, which is why yesterday, when alternating between composing on laptop and phone, eight blocks became irretrievable. Ugh! Sometimes I take such glitches as signs to reconsider publication. That difficult line between personal and public.
The post was about a recent trip to the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery where K’s father’s ashes are interred. How pretty a day it was (if overly hot) and maybe, how unceremonious our visit was. No prayers or poems, no stones to lay above his epitaph. For days I felt as though we’d let him down (or let ourselves down — is that the same?)
I like to think, though, that he would have appreciated the casual knot of family, even if empty-handed, bound as we were by love. A call to the West Coast to complete the circle. The sky so blue and clouds stacked like stairs.
It both helps and hurts to know that though Covid didn’t cause K’s father’s death, it prevented a timely memorial service and in this, we are like a multitude of others. So, so many others. Delayed ritual. Loss added to loss. A year and a month later.
Here are some pictures of other epitaphs, many unusual, colorful, or downright hilarious.
As I lamented the lack of Kaddish or wine to a Jewish friend, she reminded me of a much simpler Judaic custom. “May his memory be a blessing,” she said. Yes. Yes. May his memory be a blessing.
His memory is a blessing.
Tears for breakfast.
Those black and white pictures, right?
Dear Dee, you did not let him down. Your memorial is here, in these words, in these photos but above all else, in your heart. There are many ways to honor and remember our loved ones but the thing is, remembrance is active not passive for they are always with us. Moments come when something said, seen, heard, felt, triggers a flashback memory and speaking for myself, the memories that come from those moments, wrap around us like a comfort shawl.
Since I come from a long line of believers in the spirit presence of our departed loved ones, I will say that K’s Dad knew you visited for love is one of those powerful elements that transcends time and dimensions…..
Thank you, as ever, Marti for your thoughtful and lyrical comment. I really like the idea of pleasant memories wrapping around me like a comfort shawl. Spirits? Yes. Today is my mother’s birthday, so I may be more with her memory than his.
Dee, this is a beautiful tribute to Frank and these times we are in. All these photos are enough to bring anyone into understanding what an amazing guy he was, as well as his progeny. Closure and saying goodbye is important whenever it happens.
Happy Birthday to your mom. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of her interior design creations as I contemplate what to do about window treatments. I can live with tacked up sarongs and tablecloths for a long time, but 5 years is ridiculous.
Thanks Maggie. It helps that you knew him.
As for your thumbtacked cloth, my mother would definitely have a thing or two to say.
I think what Marti said is beautiful and fitting. We do what we can, when we can and when that is done with love, it is enough. His memory is a blessing to your family, and he seems to be held in such love. Those old photos are priceless – storytelling at its best.
“When done with love, it is enough”. That could be embroidered somewhere. Thanks, Nancy.
This post is a blessing.
Good luck at the dentist tomorrow.
Crown replacement went well! I could not believe my relief after. I sank into relief like a drug high. I was so so relieved!
I have been to elaborate funerals led by clergy and simple graveside gatherings months after the death of a loved one … I have found the latter to be more memorable, more touching, more real … and I quite agree with Marti’s belief in a “spirit presence” and that love “transcends time and dimensions” … thank you for sharing this with us
I forgot to take into account how impersonal religious funerals can be. Thanks for that reminder.
oh Dee, we are at that age where loss becomes apparent is all it’s myriad shapes and forms, from lost teeth to lives lost and everything in between…..I knew Life was like this, now I Feel it every day
sending Love over the internet xXx
Thank you Saskia. Aging and death are of course inescapable and the grief that comes with. So glad to count you as a friend and to have this cyber-community.