Today was the day my FIL got buried. I was a bit confused on when I should start taking pictures, but anyway I just used my instinct, I suppose. There were six of us who carried the casket to church and then afterwards the same men lowered the casket to the ground.
When we arrived at church at around 10.45 am and we went inside to wait for the casket and the guests to come, MIL started sobbing when she saw the four flower wreaths that we had ordered. Here they are:
I think we started right on time (11 am). There were about 30 people present. The priest gave a lovely sermon and speech, we sang some songs that MIL had chosen - accompanied by the organ. Then the priest started saying "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." while making a symbol of a cross with dirt on top of the casket.
After that as per what MIL had requested, our family stood around the casket together: MIL, R2's brothers and wives, R2 and I, our two nephews and the elder nephew's fiancee. Then starting from the eldest (MIL), one by one each family's representative recited a text that we had chosen to say goodbye and then we laid down the flower wreaths that we had ordered. MIL actually wrote a special poem for FIL by herself, whereas the rest of us mostly just chose from one of the usual goodbye quotes available in the funeral homes.
After that the guests took turns to come forward to say a few words of goodbye and then lower their flower bouquets/wreaths around the casket. Then the six men carried the casket to the cemetery and we followed behind...It was around 15'C at that time and the sun was shining. It started raining at around 3 pm and the temperature dropped a few degrees.
The casket was then lowered to the ground like this...
Then again one by one we lowered the flower wreaths/bouquets around the casket and then we left to have the memorial service. The ground would be covered properly by hired workers and I found out that ordering the gravestone could take weeks.
We had set aside all the cards that MIL had received on one table along with a photo of FIL.
After lunch, one nephew started reading the cards along with the names of the senders. Then the priest called on anyone who wanted to say a few words about FIL and that was the most touching moments ever. I think everybody had wet eyes and I heard sniffles here and there and people blowing their noses. I was too touched to take any pics during those moments, but I suppose it wasn't really appropriate to be taking pics unless I had been an outsider. It was more respectful to just listen to what each person had to say.
After that we were served some cake and coffee and we stayed to chit-chat for a while. All in all it must've taken around 3 hours. All in all it was a memorable day for everybody.
Rest in peace, FIL...you'll stay in our memories...
P.S. There were lots of hugs offered, even among the men, though it seemed to depend on how close they felt with one another. :-)