Like David Fisher in the award-winning HBO series Six Feet Under, when my father died, I embalmed him. My brother Pat assisted. We dressed him, put him in a box and soon thereafter buried him. Tim did the obits and drove the hearse. Eddie called the priest and did the printing. Mary handled the florals and finances. Julie organized the luncheon that would follow. Brigid got the pipers and the soloist. Christopher called the sexton and stonecutter. Colonel Dan, the eldest of us, flew in from his army post in Seattle and assumed command. We all were pallbearers. Everyone played what part he or she could. Our circle of friends played their parts too.
It’s what we do, we brothers and sisters—funerals. It is what our father taught us to do.