Friday, September 25, 2009

Funeral, Fax, and my Father's Voice

I'm just about caught up with today's usual tasks. Well, I'm not that far behind, anyway. I've still got several posts to write: and not all that much of today left to write them in. Even with as much taken care of ahead of time as there was, and a seasoned funeral home taking care of details, there's a surprising number of decisions to make.

My father's death this morning made it a distinctly non-typical Friday. I've talked to several people connected with the funeral home in the town where he spent his last days, been to a local bank to pick up form, sign it, and get it faxed back, and been peripherally involved with getting in touch with family, to relay the news.

That form was three pages, plus cover memo, requiring several of my initials and a signature - detailing how my father's cremation would be handled. It was pretty straightforward, compared to some of what I've had to deal with over the years: but it still required a phone call to clarify one point: about what happened to his glasses and other 'attached' stuff.

Not the cheeriest thing to contemplate, but necessary. And, I'm the person who's in the position to sign off on the document.

One of the bright spots today, for me, was a moment in one of the conversations with someone up in the Red River Valley of the North. I'd been talking over disposition of the body with one of the (directors, I think) at the funeral home. He was telling me what needed to be done, including this form. I could tell by his tone, as he told me that the form he would fax to me was three pages long, that he reasonably thought this might seem daunting.

Being what and who I am, I assured him: "I love to read!" He told me I sounded very much like my father right after that.

I believe it. There was a time, when I was in my teens, that he'd left a tape recorder on while we talked. Listening to the tape later, the only way we could tell who was saying what was by our memory of the conversation. I suppose our voices drifted a bit since then, but not - it seems - all that much.

I like that.

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