Here is the second part of the blog, “Losing Dad.”
For a few days, the pain of losing my father was surreal. It was emotional, hard, and also didn’t felt right. But before all that began, I got my mother to come back to my sister’s house. She first wanted to water her plants, and we both went to bed after enduring a hard situation. But before I went to bed, I had to post the hardest Facebook post of losing my father. It was about 3:30am in the morning and then I went to sleep. When I woke up the next couple of hours, I got dressed to take my mother back to St. Luke’s Hospital to be with my sister. Then later on I went back to the north side to set up an appointment with the funeral home for the start of my father’s service. I also went to my parents house in starting to clean up my Father’s entertainment room to take out the rug that he heavily bleed on. And also I clean up the room that he had his last remaining days before dying so soon.
I went up stairs where I had my fun where later on he took over the room after 2000. Nothing but memories growing up. I also had the thought of taking his CD’s that he listened to while working or going to work just to try to ease some of the pain.
My dad was more of a blues fan. Listening to his music collection of John Lee Hooker, Magic Slim, and the Legendary Mavis Staples to name a few. Speaking of that, before he died, we were talking about a song that he was reminded of Mississippi and the south. The name of the song was called, “I’ll be rested”, in which I had a thought of listening myself during Black History Month. But that was then. I began to grab more of his mixtapes on CD’s that he often listen to while working in the house or his days at the Post Office. Thinking about also making a playlist in honor of him when Father’s Day comes as well as his August 18th Birthday.
Plus at the house I had to find some necessary pictures of him and us on our vacations, events, earlier times before he was married, school, the military, and others. Collectively, we had a collection of pics gallore! Later on in the week, I’ve done more cleaning, plus gathering more material that would be beneficial for the Funeral arrangements that was upcoming. Ranging from marriage certificates, to forms of military honorary discharge papers. And in my mind, this whole thing was just surreal gathering the stuff was just that. Surreal.
In church on Sunday after my Dad’s passing, my pastor preached a sermon called “Don’t Be Afraid.” In which he used me as an example of what I went through on the night when I discovered Dad dead in his Entertainment Room. It paled in comparison of what I talked about previously about that even though the situation was hard to swallow, I had to do something in general. In maintaining control of the ship to maintain order. In a spiritual effect, I think that Dad would approve it very well. Plus I highlighted the things that I summarized:
He was a member of my church for 47 years. – In December of 1969, he married my mother. Which also made him a member of the church since.
He wasn’t an “every Sunday” church member, but he was a member.
He was around for my graduations, my sister’s graduations, church events, even the Veterans Day Celebrations at my church.
Always known to fix things around the house, home modelings, woodworkings and others.
He also matched my church salary to make sure I was financially well. He knew I wasn’t making enough as a Church Secretary, but he wanted to help out. And he did. Plus with that, he supported my sister’s needs as well.
And as far as a lessons learned. They spoke for itself. Even the hard lessons! Plus I thanked the church for the support.
February 27th was the meeting at the Williamson Funeral Home, which is black owned. And plus in history it was mostly that they buried more of my folks. Even my father talked about the owner all the time. We were at the office getting the service for Dad prepared. We chose the date Friday, March 10th 2017 as the day with a visitation date of March 9th. The site of the burial we chose was the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove. Plus, I have an Aunt that is buried out there since 1997. Plus two of my church members are buried and entombed at the cemetery.
Along the way we had to get the additional information of his insurance to cover the costs of the funeral including picking out his casket. And for the Committal portion of the funeral, my mother would receive the folded flag, and there was a mention of the 21 Gun Salute that was added as part of the service.
After the service was set up, I immediately went to my Facebook Page to inform my followers, phones convos, text messages and others on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google plus to give the official rundown of my father’s funeral. The dates, places and etc. And likewise, more condolences poured in.
In the remaining days, I also got my Dad’s dark blue suit jacket and light gray trousers. The very same set he wore to my uncle’s funeral in early September. And there was additional shopping to conquer to get shirts, ties, socks and for me, I had to purchase a dark blue jacket, a light gray pants to have an idea (via my mother) to dress like Dad for the funeral.
The notices in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Williamson Funeral Home Website were set to view on the Wednesday before the visitation. And the booklets had to be printed for the funeral as well. Thanks to Great Impressions here in Milwaukee, they were excellent later on.
Part three of “Losing Dad” will continue with the Heartbreaking visitation, the funeral, and the Committal Service.