Saturday, August 30, 2014

Funereal Friday

Friday was only about the funeral of my friend Nicola's father, Arthur. It was my first Jewish funeral and as soon as the Cantor started singing, I was deeply moved to be in the presence of so glorious a singer and such ancient text and melody. He sang the 23rd Psalm.

Arthur died at age 100 + 5 months; there was nothing to regret. He had a rich, rich and accomplished life. He had a beloved wife in Lucille and he was valedictorian in his graduating class when he got his BA in creative writing (poetry) from UBC at age 86.

We all buried his coffin using the back of one of the many shovels first, and then the front. And when we were done, more prayers were sung and said. When the interment was done, all we guests lined either side of the path from the grave site back to the synagogue and through it passed Niki, Ted and their niece with many of us reaching out to gently touch the family member we loved.

Tradition, says Tevye. It is a privilege to be part of a tradition that birthed Christianity. Ritual, ceremony and assembly… all powerful words and experiences. I loved every single minute of the day.

After the ceremony, we went to Niki's for amazing and delicious food. Stephen drove Niki and I and two friends to the wake in his classic stunning red roadster. All eyes on the road were on us and we never stopped laughing. "Hey! Nice car! What's under the hood?"

Once back at Nik's, we toasted Arthur and although it seems weird to say so about a funeral and wake, I had a ball. And it was a long day. I left here at 10:00 am and got home around 4:30. The party was catered by Culinary Capers. The bartender, Sam, could not have been cuter. He is going to Nice where I once lived, so he really appreciated the tips (Peillon, Plonger Aigle-Nautique) that I gave him.

(And, not s single soul asked me what was wrong with my voice. Yes, I, Chris, said as little as possible by eating as much as possible. There were Bon Ton confectionaries!)

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