Yesterday I had the honor of attending George's grandmother's funeral. She was one tough lady, and was 87 when she died on Sunday, after having a stroke Friday night. It was the first Jewish funeral I've attended, and while I didn't understand the Hebrew in the service, it was still a meaningful service. All four of the children, plus Papa, gave eulogies, then we went to the Hebrew Cemetery for the graveside service. There were some things that George, his dad, and his brothers couldn't do at the cemetery, because they're Cohains. For instance, they had to stay on the paved road in the cemetery, and they couldn't participate in the ritual of putting dirt on the casket. I did the dirt in George's place, which was very somber and sobering. George missed being able to participate in that part of the service, especially since he doesn't pratice Judiaism anymore, but he didn't want to upset his family.
I remember Bubby for often saying what she thought, and for always being a good cook. She opened up her home on Christmas night last month, when Tina had invited me (with George) over for Christmas dinner because she knew I was missing my family. Tina did all the cooking and took it over to Bubby and Papa's home, and I ended up having Christmas dinner with George, one of his brothers, his parents and grandparents! The food was good, the company even better.
Last night was the first night of sitting shiva, and it was the first time I'd ever done that. The prayers were in Hebrew, so again, I couldn't understand much, but I enjoyed the sounds and cadences. I also enjoyed seeing some people I'd met at other family functions, and meeting others who were new to me. It was touching to hear stories about Bubby from both family and friends.