The church was modern but warm, large but not impersonal, and full of light.
We stood by as they brought in his casket,
and opened it.
And there he was, and wasn't, all at once.
We watched his wife place a cross in his hands and arrange a garland around his head.
The Deacon touched his hands and said quiet, private things.
And then, his family, including his four small children, said goodbye.
His children are all so young.
I wonder what, if anything, they will remember from this day.
The service was a Catholic one, but they tried hard to welcome all of those who came.
I was impressed by the ceremony.
The Rosary was hypnotic, and through the ritual repetition I could see some of the weight come away from the family.
At the end of the service, the Priest thanked all of the different groups of people who had come, and then he stopped being an agent of his office and became a man for a moment.
He said that this service was the most difficult thing he had ever done as a priest.