Saturday was the day of my father's memorial service. That was the main reason for my visiting Ottawa at this time. He passed away in late November, and we were in Mexico at the time so my mother decided to hold off the service until spring.
And I think that was a good idea. People are a lot less emotional after a little time has passed and I think that makes these type of events a lot less stressful.
We went out for breakfast with my mom and sisters and my aunt and uncle who flew in from British Columbia. My father was originally from BC, and we have a lot of relatives out there. Then, the service was at 2pm, and it lasted about an hour. I have an audio recording of it, and I'm going to try and find a way to post it online so that these relatives who couldn't attend can listen to it.
Dad was almost 82 years old, and a lot of calendar pages get flipped over that period of time. Mom had a table made of some of Dad's memories over the years, and I even learned a few things that I didn't know! For example, Dad won a contest of some kind back in 1952 at age 23 and she had the newspaper article displayed. The prize payout was around $1,900! That's a nice windfall for a young guy at that age. That would be close to $20,000 in today's dollars!
There were a lot of people at the service. Dad spent the last 25 years or so doing a lot of volunteer work, and there were quite a few people there from the various charities he worked with.
We went for dinner at my sister's and spent the evening chatting, mostly about a lot of memories of Dad. It was an enjoyable day actually, and I'm glad it wasn't spent with any sad moments or tears. Dad wasn't one to dwell on the sad things in life, and the day was spent remembering his accomplishments. I think it was exactly the way he would have wanted it.