I wrote this towards the end of my freshman year of high school, 14 years old. I found it today in the 'blogs' section of myspace. (which i was only on to look for an old photo, I SWEAR)... I figured it would last longer here.
Last Tuesday I went to my first funeral.
For my Grandpa.
Jewish military funerals are truly awe inspiring.
Seeing my Grandpa was in the military and went to West Point, he was buried there, with all the military honors one could have.
And the Jewish traditions made it all that much more special.
The whole process seemed just out of the movie.
Spring time, sunny, everything so so green, people that are solemn, but happy and content, a slight breeze, leaves falling off of the trees, sobs being heard throughout.
Perfectly surreal experience. Perfectly surreal.
Watching my grandmother was the hardest part.
When the hearse pulled up, when the coffin was about to be lowered (though the funeral ended before that happened, thank goodness), watching her receive the american flag that draped the coffin. Those were the times when she was crying so much that it deeply affected everyone else.
Everyone else. There was so much everyone else. I did not realize how much my Grandpa was loved, how many people he touched throughout his life. Looking back on it, one couldn't expect less, really. My Grandpa had a passion for life, for helping others, for our country, for his family. The realization of all of this was when I knew how much we had lost.
I was scared to go to a funeral, to see my family and extended family in such somber moods; not the family reunion one hopes for. But to be honest, it was one of the most indescribable and incredible experiences that I've had. The unity of everyone, the remembrance of the good times, the feeling of peace and calm, respect, acceptance. Love.
The one thing that touched me the most, I believe, was the tear. Six military men carried the coffin over to the gravesite, set it down on something that allowed it to be above the grave, and stood at attention. Three of these men were facing me. About halfway through the short service, the Rabbi was talking about his memories of my Grandpa, and how much of an impression he's made on the world. I looked up, and I focused on one of the men. His face was emotionless but for a tear, just one, sliding down his cheek. I will never forget this.
The human compassion shown that day.
i was in awe.