Mr. Bad Example (excitable_boy) wrote,
Mr. Bad Example

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Uncle Bill (my late uncle's son) asked me at the wake on Thursday night to be a pallbearer. He said that my great uncle wanted it to happen, and though nervous, I obliged after a few reassuring words from my father.

The funeral was bittersweet, to say the least. I spent quite a bit of time in the car, waiting an hour to arrive back in East Brunswick for the process to start. After we all stopped at the funeral home fairly briefly, before we began the procession to a church in Edison, I stood upon the left side of the casket. In front of me was my father, and behind me, my Uncle Gary (dad's brother). On the other side were my three cousins (Uncle Bill's grandchildren). Jonathan was in front, followed by Scott, and then Matthew. On the way in, a bagpiper was playing "Amazing Grace," and as such,I almost lost it. It was very poignant, and I found myself biting my lip to keep from crying as we walked into the church.

After about an hour (at least, it seemed like it), we hopped back into the car and followed the procession all the way up the NJ Turnpike to North Arlington, NJ (for those of you who aren't familiar with the town, it's right next to Lyndhurst and Rutherford). We went to the cemetary there (where, consequently, there are a few other relatives buried as well) and parked, and then entered a large mausoleum-type building. The priest there gave a short, but maudlin speech, and we walked up to pay our final respects to William J. Valia.

So vividly will the image of walking by that casket and touching it lightly as I walked by, stopping briefly as I did to allow a few tears to fall from my eyes. It was, as I said, bittersweet; I broke my stride for a moment, only to let a few much-needed tears to escape my closed eyes. I can remember the exact look on my grandmother's face when she walked up to her brother's casket; it was distraught, broken. Never in my life have I seen that woman cry, and when I did, it destroyed me. I never had to deal with that feeling of seeing such a woman cry, and when I did, I was ill-prepared, to say the least.

After the final respects, we headed to a fairly elegant restaurant for the repass. The food was all right; as good as it could be, given the circumstances of attendance.

Before I end this entry, I would like to show to you all the message on the back of the commemorative cards we received before we left.

In Loving Memory of

William J. Valia, Sr.
June 8, 1933
January 31, 2005


Those we love remain with us for love itself lives on, and cherished memories never fade because a loved one's gone...

Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, for as long as there is memory, they'll live on in the heart.

And finally, to close, a song.


Hey, can you hear me? I'm calling your name
Hello, or is this goodbye?
That gleam in your eye, it troubles my brain
Will I see it again?

So I can rest my head

Angel! Angel! Dancing away,
As all of my thoughts get rearranged
Angel! Angel! Turning away,
Just when things seemed to have changed

So I can rest my head

Hey, can you hear me? I'm calling your name
Hello, or is this goodbye?
That gleam in your eye, it troubles my brain
Will I see it again?

So I can rest my head
So I can rest my head
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