Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Memorial Service

Sorry Robbie, I didn't forget...just stalling. Dad's memorial service was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd, an episcopal church, in Augusta on Monday, April 21 at 5:00 pm. It was actually much like a normal episcopal service, very liturgical. The family and clergy processed into the church to "Be Thou My Vision." As I said before, this was the same song Dad walked me down the aisle to just 7 short years ago. The chapel was filled to the brim with friends, colleagues, and family. This is what dad would have wanted to see...how many people were there, and I'm sure he would have taken note of who was and wasn't there. He would have been pleased...mostly. The rest is truly a blur. The minister spoke, the congregation sang, and I wept. Dad's ashes sat on the altar in a simple box, but I never saw them.

A few months before he died, Dad had asked Alan Faulkner, the chaplain for Dr. Schlaer, to speak at his funeral. So he did. I can't tell you what he said, but I remember it being very good, especially since Dad wasn't the most spiritual of men. As per one of his blog entries, Dad requested "Into the Woods My Master Went" to be sung. A very sweet woman by the name of Barbara sung it and did an excellent job.

Even though I sat with Sherry and Barbara (yes the same one that sang) the night before Dad died and picked out the scriptures to be read and songs to be sung, it's still a blur. The last hymn sung was "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." But I don't remember feeling joyful at all. The visitation followed which consisted of us standing in a receiving line which seemed like a mile long. I am so thankful to have been in Augusta the weeks prior to his death. Not only because I got to spend time with Dad, but also because I got to be part of their life there in Augusta. I would have never known any of the people in that line if I hadn't come, such great people too. It was assuring to me to know that Sherry has such a great support system.

After the visitation, family and friends gathered at my Dad's house. Dad would have loved that part; a hundred people or so all in one place talking about him. He might not have cared much about the service itself. It was the people, the stories, the memories that honored him the most.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Hillary for the overview. Funerals are a lot like weddings, most of the time we are to emotional to "be there". I really miss your dad. I live in Greenville, SC about two hours away from Augusta. I really wanted to come to the funeral, unfortunately I am chaffeur to my two fifteen year olds.

Blessings, Robbie

Anonymous said...

Hi Hillary,

My name is Fernando, Webmaster at Magazine Publishers of America. I couldn't find your email so I'm sending this short email through here. First let me express my condolences for you and the rest of the Foster family. I never had the opportunity to meet David personally but we did keep in touch a lot through email and phone. I remember he was very anxious to get more people involved with his blog and he would always be monitoring the page views! I would simply tell him to keep writing and above all enjoy his blog, the rest would come later. I have to say he has touched and helped many people, more than he ever imagined and I am so happy for him. I know that made him feel good and gave him the energy to keep blogging.

We currently host the blog on MPA's Typepad account. Feel free to contact me for whatever reason and any help you may need. The last few months of posts have not been archived on the right sidebar. Would you like for me to go ahead and archive them for quicker access to them?

You can contact me at folalla@magazine.org or 212-872-3727