As many of you may know, my brother Marty passed away on Thursday and today was his funeral. He had been sick for a while with a diminished quality of life. Our family had reached a point where we just wanted him to finally be out of pain and at peace. Although, his death was not a shock, it does feels strange now that he is gone.
Yesterday the family gathered together with the rabbi to prepare for Marty’s eulogy. We shared our funny stories from the past. It was so nice just talking about him and for me, as his younger sister, learning a few things I did not know or maybe at times did not want to know. After we finished, I felt very lucky to have such a great person in my life. Marty was a husband, dad, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend and everyone had a special relationship with him. Basically summing it up, family was the most important priority for Marty and I know that to be true as he shared that with me before he passed away. However, I cannot ignore other strong themes which became evident from everyone’s accounts about him like how he made people laugh, charmed us with his smarts coupled with a small hint of being an ass at times (ask about the Boston story).
Since this is my second funeral preparation in a short time period, it has made me wonder why wait till someone dies to share how important they are to us? It seems too late and perhaps timing is critical in this instant. Maybe we need to rethink our approach. I mean I would be up for a party in my honor where family and friends tell stories about how amazing I am, while serving yummy Shiva-like food. It could be used as a dress rehearsal to crisp up the message before it is too late. I am just saying…
Ok back to the story, I was not sure how I was going to handle returning to the same place where Robin’s funeral was held. As I walked into the chapel, I was instantly put at ease when the attendant blurted out the same joke used last time to greet us “well at least you will be walking out at the end of the funeral.” I suppose it meant that we were not going to be wheeled out in a casket. Actually this joke equates to something you would find on an old Dixie cup (remember the cups with the jokes?) but nevertheless I appreciated the attempt. I wanted to reply, hey we have Frequent Flier Miles here – you need to change your shtick and get me a vodka and cranberry.
We settled in and the guests arrived. The condolence line was three times that of Robin’s funeral (and I thought that was an unending amount of people). The ceremony was beautiful and once again Rabbi Yedwab knocked it out the park with his eulogy about Marty. My brother Shay read a poem and Zack, Marty’s son shared funny and heartfelt moments in a very relaxed and profound way. I give it a “5 coffin rating” – maybe that can be a new thing. – Zagat scores for funerals.
Anyways on a serious note, it is very sad to lose two extremely important men in my life. However, I feel honored that I was able to love and be loved by both of them. My nephew Eric shared with me that the Lions and the Bears played each other in football today. We were comforted knowing Robin and Marty were probably together watching the game. I believe Robin maybe a little happier than Marty with the outcome but that does not really matter .. Go Bears and Lions. Rest in Peace!!!