Monday, January 28, 2008


I had my first funeral today. He was an older man who had been a CPT in the Army Air Corps. His daughters were incredibly composed and graceful. I was there when the family arrived for the funeral and was introduced to them. I don't think that's how it's supposed to happen...I think I'm supposed to be anonymous and represent everyone, so knowing me and my name and talking to me may have ruined that. I guess there isn't really a "right way" for funerals to go.

Meeting the daughters and being told about the CPT and his experience in WWII and in life made it much more difficult for me to perform my duty. When TAPS played and the only sound other than the bugle was the sobbing of a lone woman, maintaining my composure was difficult. Moreover, I cannot help but feel as though I am handing off my father's flag when I do the ceremony, and that it is he who I am there to honor. I know that's silly, but that's how it felt. Maybe it'll get easier over time, but maybe it wont. And maybe it's good if it doesn't and I continue to see each funeral as an individual as important to those present as my father was to me. I just need to learn to be stronger and more stoic I think.


Blogger moville said...

I think you did the right thing there. It IS important to speak on behalf of the nation, but this nation is a compassionate entity, and I think if you are friendly and compassionate with grieving people, you convey some personal appreciation for both the deceased and the family members. That can only help them as time goes on.

1:39 PM  

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