Monday, June 11, 2007


Didn't sleep well at all last night, woke up feeling not well. Not sure how I am gonna get through this day. Just the thought of it at this moment makes me sick.
The day is progressing, the rest of the relatives, my uncle with wife and my two littlest cousins ( now 26 and 21) and my dad's brother, with wife and his three daughters arrived at the noon hour.
We all met up with the relatives that arrived yesterday at our house and drove all together up to the cemetery for the funeral and service.
We arrived at the cemetery at around 1:40 pm, service was to start at 2pm, there were many people already lined up to greet us, mostly neighbors and colleagues of my dad. Some people I remembered and recognized immediately, others were totally unknown to me and others I just remembered vaguely. I know there were way more people than my mother wanted there or we expected, but I told her,even though she tried to keep the day a secret, that she would'nt get around all this, people have the right to say good-bye and pay their last respect even though she wanted to keep it small and private. It was anything but that as the later service showed. One person I hoped to see and was so happy to see was a friend of my dad's, who once was one of his student teachers, his partner in writing books and later someone my dad helped to put into a very important goverment position for the bavarian school system. I was a little bit disappointed at first, because it almost felt like he was too business like when he spoke his condolences to me, but in talking with him later it was just like it always was, up close and personal.
After greeting and meeting some of the friends, it was time to make our walk to the chapel where the service was to take place.
We entered the hall and in the front was a nice wooden urn surrounded by a flower wreath on the pedestal, containing the ashes of my dad. Weird it still didn't really hit me as that. The hall filled slowly but steady and all seats were taken. We sat in the front with my mom in our middle, my 2nd cousin beside me for support. The church bells rang and the music began. The person who was playing the organ was a student of my dad, for whom the ceremony was set back half an hour because he insisted in playing for my dad and that it would be his honour to play. The minister held his speech, told about my dad's life and his death, then the lady who took over my dad's position at school after his retirement made a speech and then the guy from the Bavaria government made his speech. Would have been nice if he would have looked at my mom as he addressed her numeral times, but looked at someone totally different. After the ceremony, the bells rang again and rang until we all made the finally walk behind the minister and the urn down to the house were all the urns are stored. The urn was placed in a little area in the wall, the minister gave his blessing and said a prayer and then we all took turns standing in front of the opening in the wall, with our last thoughts. After that a plague was placed over the opening and it was sealed. The plague states my dad's name and date of birth and death. Somehow even that didn't make it click in that he was gone.
After that people spoke their condolences, I consoled some of my relatives, like my dad's cousin and then kind of pulled away to stand apart from everybody with the neighbour boy who buried his father just a few weeks prior. We just stood there and consoled each other.
After about an hour we made our way to the restaurant for coffee and cake and dinner later on. Some of my dad's colleagues joined us, otherwise it was mainly family and neighbours.
Somehow the whole day just passed by like a movie I was watching. I can't really remember who was there and who wasn't, I only remember shaking a few hands of some neighbours and friends, and two colleagues of my dad's early years, who were close to my heart and who I remembered always but one I wouldn't have recognized at all, since I was only a little girl when he was around.
It was a hard day, and I am glad we made it and held up pretty well.
After the time in the restaurant all the relatives came to our house and we sat around and chatted until late into the night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can do this. and know that all of us back here are thinking of you and your family today.