Post 1250: it was a meaningful service…

Born 23 March 1941 Died 19 December 2016

Born 23 March 1941
Died 19 December 2016

My sister Kathy and Shannon, my niece, were able to attend our brother and uncle Dick’s funeral in Smith River. She reported to me:

Dick’s service was really nice, with big rolling waves in the ocean in the background. It was a very stressful day for us though.  We were running late, there was a big accident on the freeway that slowed us down, and Shannon got stopped for speeding.  She got stopped at 12:45 and the service started at 1:00.  I started crying and told the patrolman we were trying to get to my brother’s funeral and were late.  He said we were only 15 minutes away, and let her go without a ticket. 

We arrived just as they were bringing the casket to the grave site.  I’m not sure, but there must have been 120 or so people there and at the potluck afterwards. 

We didn’t get to talk to family too much, but I was able to talk to Adrienne [Dick’s wife].  She said that Dick knew it was time to die, they talked about it, said their good-byes, and he passed away in his sleep at home. 

Two of Dick’s friends sang an Indian song at the service, then Steve, Annette’s husband, sang a song at the potluck.  [His son-in-law and daughter] Everyone I talked with mentioned what a good guy Dick was, and how respected he was in the community. 

I had hoped to spend more time with the family, but we had to get back on the road shortly after eating since Shannon had to go to work Friday.

The cemetery where my brother was buried is on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a tranquil and beautiful place. Though this is a sad time for my family and me, I feel blessed that Dick was my brother.

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, and know that I am OK. Sadness doesn’t cancel the joy of the season, which, for Christians, marks the beginning of the holy season that ends with the resurrection of Christ. I’ll spare you the sermon but life must go on. It is Christmas Eve. I am at peace.


35 thoughts on “Post 1250: it was a meaningful service…

    • Yes, I’m glad she was able to make it, too. Neither my other sister or I can travel easily or without more than couple day’s preparation, so it was impossible for us to make it. In my case, I’d have to arrange dialysis while on the road (it’s a 24 hour drive straight through, and I’d have to break it up into three days realistically) and while there. That involves locating dialysis units that can work me into their schedule, faxing my medical records, and other details that they say takes about a month on average to work out.

      • I had never thought about how difficult it would be to travel while on dialysis. I guess it’s pretty unrealistic unless you’re going south for the season or maybe a wedding that’s planned for the future. Let’s hope they’re working on a solution for that.

        • There are various methods for dialysizing, some involve the patient doing the set up with equipment at home. I have an aversion to needles (which I’d have to self-insert in some methods….!), and I get weak just thinking of sticking them in me to get the process started. The method I go through involves trained professionals (LPNs and RNs) who inspire confidence by setting me up for dialysis without causing me pain or making a bloody mess. That counts a lot from my stand point. The solution is a kidney transplant IF you have a transplatable kidney, but that comes with the necessity of anti-rejection drugs taken for the rest of your life, the reality that the transplant can fail and require another transplant, and other complications. I am creeped out by the idea of having foreign tissue in my body, especially if it came from a cadaver source. That I have to overcome that psychological roadblock to even consider a transplant makes me a poor candidate at this point for that option, too.

  1. Aww Doug, what a kick in the teeth. Losing a close family member is very hard….a part of your heart feels ripped away. What a lovely place for a cemetery. We have driven 101 through Oregon and down into California. The Pacific Ocean is gorgeous, just breathtaking in that area. I do remember the hummingbirds and flowers… peaceful.
    Give the boys an extra hug and a good scratch my friend.


    • I remember fuschias that weren’t little potted flowers but huge bushes…and all the hummingbirds, too! Yes, it is a beautiful part of the country, and you would have b=driven by Smith River right after you passed into California. Though I will miss my brother, I know he was in considerable pain for some time. I’m glad that is past, that he now is in peace.

  2. So glad Kathy and Shannon could make it to Dick’s funeral, and that Kathy could give you a good summary of the day. It must be especially relieving to know that Adrienne and Dick were able to say their goodbyes, and that he could slip away at home.

    Wishing you Happy Holidays in spite of the sadness. I trust the kitties will do their bit to bring some cheer to your days.

    • Thank you for your comments, Peggy. Though Dick is gone, many elements of his last days alive, the funeral were the way I would hope they’d be for my brother. I will always be grateful to the California family for the thoughtfulness they put into his service, the goodness they showed my brother when he was alive, and for accepting Dick into their family. My sister-in-law and I have a running joke that she is my favorite sister-in-law, which of course she gets by default because she is my only one. I love her so much, though, that she is more like my other sister. She made life happy for my brother, and they were a perfect match for each other.

  3. It must have been hard for you not to be able to attend the funeral in person. But it was good that your sister and niece were able to go. It’s never easy to be so far away from family. I’m glad you were able to make many memorable memories when your brother was with you. Such treasures cannot be taken away.

    • Please look at what I wrote Susan with regards a video of the service. I am at peace with Dick’s passing because I know how miserable he was the past two plus years with the disease and its complications. They made it difficult to difficult for him to have normality in his life. I agree about the memories.

  4. I’m late in saying this: I am terribly sorry for the loss of your brother. (And sorry for any typos here. I’m using my iPhone to write this, as I’m in the road here.) It’s good to hear that he died in peace and is resting in a beautiful spot. I hope your sister and niece are able to de-stress now and you all have a peaceful Christmas.

    • I wasn’t able to attend. Because I am on dialysis, I would have had to have at least a month for arrangements for treatments between here and California, then in California (or nearby Oregon), and for appropriate medical records to be sent to the dialysis sites. On top of it, because I have Wegener’s granulomatosis, my doctor s don’t recommend air travel because of blood clotting potential. It’s a 1440 or so mile drive of 24 hours out and the same back. Frankly, I’m not up to a solo drive of that magnitude or sure that I could find someone to ride along with me. It would be realistic to ask the California family to delay the service to accommodate my needs, though, had they planned a memorial service instead, say, for his March 23rd birthday, I possibly would have had time to work out the details. I am satisfied they California family did the right thing, and that two members of Dick’s side of the family, at least, were able to barely make it there.

        • My sister took some photos, though only after the service. As for filming it, I personally wouldn’t expect or want that. Life is transient, most events happen and fade into memory. I am more at ease about Dick because I have all the memories of our summer visits, some videos I’ve shared with you where he is healthy and himself playing with the kitty boys, and a lifetime of being his brother. A video of the service would be like picking off a scab.

    • Thank you. His final resting place is a cemetery on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is a place of great beauty and solace. If you’ve ever driven along Highway 101 in the area near to the California-Oregon border, you know what I mean.

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