Could I Have a Do-Over?

17 Dec

The funeral we attended on Friday was for a long-time member of Resurrection, and a former Navy man. Considering all of the planning my dad did for his own funeral, it amazes – and dismays – me that he didn’t tell us of the services available to veterans.

He had pre-paid the undertaker, selected the hymns, told us who he wanted to officiate, and who he wanted to preach, but he never told us that he was eligible to have a free marker, a flag for his coffin, or a bugler to play Taps.  He did mention he wanted somebody to play Waltzing Matilda, but when I asked him how I was going to arranged that, he just smiled and said, “That’s your problem, not mine.”

I had some poor soul from the local high school, standing in the rain, with a clarinet!

My mum refused to have a marker put on his grave. “God will know where to find him when He wants him.” And she made it sound as if she meant if He wants him.  Daddy had been dead several years when a fellow who was a member of his old parish told me the VA would give us a marker, and got the papers for me.

When my grandfather died, my mum had some men from the VFW – I guess – give a 21 gun salute, but she didn’t mention that we could have done the same for her husband.

Argh!

Maybe I’ll just get all of his friends and family and do it over. Maybe I’ll wait until the 20th anniversary. People renew their wedding vows all the time. Why not a funeral?

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7 Responses to “Could I Have a Do-Over?”

  1. AJ December 18, 2017 at 1:00 am #

    Oh, I find funerals are difficult no matter how well the person has prepared:(

    • thisendoftheswamp December 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

      My dad spent the last eight years of his life on dialysis. When he died it was a sort of “Thank God, that’s over” situation. About six or seven years afterward, I started to come unglued when I hear “Eternal Father”.

      • AJ December 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

        I definitely know that feeling! With both of my grandmothers we were just happy they finally went as they weren’t happy. Amazing Grace, the song at both of their funerals still makes me tear up every time!

  2. tiggerlyss December 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    Who passed away? Could you email me? Regarding your father, perhaps that is why he was late for his own funeral?

  3. Luanne December 20, 2017 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh, that’s a shame! A year before my father died, he decided he wanted a veteran’s funeral and burial. He sold his and my mom’s plots where the family is buried and instead made arrangements to be buried at the VA cemetery farther from town. He had the however-many-gun-salute and taps and all that. He has his marker. He’s in the cemetery lined with flags with the other veterans. But there is no place for my mom or her marker. And it’s harder for mom to get to the cemetery out of town. I wish he hadn’t done it. Selfish, I know, but now he’s not with the family, and I feel a loss of history and continuity because of it.

    • thisendoftheswamp December 21, 2017 at 1:34 am #

      I knew he was eligible to be buried at Arlington, but he had said he didn’t want that – too far from where we lived, etc. Essentially the reasons you wish your dad hadn’t made the move. My mum was a strange duck, to put it mildly. She never once visited her husbands grave, and actually wanted to be buried with her parents! My sister and I had decided early on, that wasn’t going to happen. And then, if you follow my blog, you know she was buried in the wrong spot – because we weren’t sure where he was! Karma will get you, you know!

      • Luanne December 21, 2017 at 6:48 am #

        LOL, yes it will! It sounds like your mother held something against him!

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