Sunday, December 13, 2009

Arlington

My father-in-law died on September 14th but his funeral and reception were held yesterday at Arlington Cemetery.

Between the elderly World War II vets and active military dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are about 30 funerals a day there. After you fill out the paper work they let you know the earliest date available for the service.

It was a beautiful event. My husband and son made eloquent remarks at the service although Ben began choking on his tears half way through. I was very proud of my husband Brian. He spoke with grace and thoughtfulness.

Afterward six gray horses ridden by soldiers pulled the caisson that carried the single coffin to the burial site. Military officers involved in the ceremony march behind with family members following.

They remove the flag and fold it in an elaborate ritual then presented it to my step mother in law. After the twenty one gun salute they play Taps. Some closing prayers were made and the ceremony came to an end.

It was a tough weekend. The house was officially sold two weeks ago and his widow will be moving back to Missouri in a few months to live near her two sons in St. Louis. Not having a place to go back to is hard for Brian and Ben. It feels like his father died and every sign of him was wiped away...at least it feels that way now.

5 comments:

jodi said...

What section was he buried in?

The ceremony sounds lovely.

My sister-in-law and her new husband sold her house and have moved to Mass. Husband's brother died years ago but the selling of the house does feel like it wiped the brother off of the map. Also, his ashes are heaven knows where.

It is good that Ben got to speak. He will be so pleased as he got older that he had the chance and took it. And did the best that he could.

OHN said...

I think I can understand how your husband feels.

When my mom died, my stepfather had the house sold within weeks and moved to Florida.

That first Christmas, I sent a card to the house--not even knowing the names of the owners--telling them a little about my years there and hoped they would have as much fun and laughter as I had with my mom there.

I never heard back. For all I knew, they thought I was a nut, but it helped me more than I thought it would.

You should be very proud of your son. The entire experience will be one that will move his heart for the rest of his life.

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

Evi, your family really has been through so much this past year. The funeral sounds like a wonderful ceremony, though. I'm glad you all have this to remember.

Regarding your stepmother-in-law, I understand your sadness at no longer having the family home to visit, but also understand her desire to be back with her sons. And trust me, Brian's father can never be wiped away. He will live forever in your hearts.

evi said...

I am very lucky and very grateful to have such great blogger buddies.

Dr. Deb said...

Sending you my thoughts....