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Funeral arrangements
[Forward-dating this entry so that it will show up at the top until the funeral.]

I'm still working out the details over the next several days, but the broad plan is shaping up (I just got the call that I needed), and I believe folks can start planning around it.

So: assuming nothing snafus, Jane's funeral will be held at Houghton Chapel at Wellesley College, next Sunday (January 30th) at 1pm. We have the chapel reserved until 3, so groups that wish to do ceremonies (eg, Eastern Star) will have time to do so.

That's a bit further out from her death than I might have preferred, but it seems like the best date -- many friends will already be in the area for Birka, so it'll be easier for people to pay their respects. (And I can just hear her telling me that it's better to take a couple of extra days to get it right, rather than do something hasty and slapdash.)

The past day has largely been about chasing down the right people to call at Wellesley to make this happen: Houghton was special to her (it's where we got married), and it's big enough to hold as many people as care to come. I had a moment of panic yesterday, when I realized that the funeral home would really only hold 110 people, and that probably wasn't anywhere near enough. Houghton, by contrast, can hold 400 just in the central section (and more in the wings), so I can say with confidence that anyone who would like to come should do so.

I'll put out finer-grained details over the next week (directions and such), but folks should begin to plan on this basis. Please pass the word to anyone who should know.

The interment will proably be the following Monday morning; that's likely to be a smaller affair, but close friends and family who wish to be there will be welcome. And I'm tentatively planning for a memorial service -- a proper celebration of her life, once enough time has passed for the shock of her death to wear off a little -- in the spring.

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Please let me know if you need anything. I can come help with setup if you would like.

The 30th is also the day that Arisia has its debrief meeting scheduled for staff, currently for 2 pm. I am going to see if we can move the Arisia schedule to later in the day (this is mostly not up to me, but I know it impacts several others on staff besides me). If the funeral schedule also moves to earlier in the day, I will be keeping an eye out for that and make sure Arisia staff knows that, too.

You have my thoughts with you, and hugs from many.

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Huh -- hadn't even thought about programs. I might well take you up on that...

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I could talk to Cateline la Broderesse also who takes all the fabulous pictures of events.

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The idea has my blessing -- I think it's clever, and potentially very useful...

Yeah, we'd been realizing recently that we have *zillions* of pictures of other people, but very few good ones of ourselves. (The barber's dilemma.) But hopefully asking around will produce a decent selection...

Another easy source: I've noticed this week in my facebook feed, folks have been adding and tagging good photos so those are accumulating in her fb profile.

I'm glad somebody's working on this.

Hmm. Very interesting idea, yes...

The funeral home is trying to push prayer cards on me, but I didn't even look at them -- the description sounded horribly trite. I suspect you can do better. (And *nothing* is standard: they are totally nickel-and-diming me to death...)

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Yeah, that probably would have been clever, especially since I have a *really* bad case of, "Yeah, whatever, it's just money" right now.

Most of the damage is already done (and to be fair, the worst of it is the big-ticket items like the casket), but it was a reminder that haggling isn't my strong suit at the best of times...

I'm sorry, it didn't even occur to me to offer to go with you for this. I knew you were making calls today but I didn't grasp that you were doing the whole rigamarole. I've been through all of this, down to going to the florists and writing the newspaper obits and everything else - as the favored and oldest grandchild, I was in tow with all the siblings when this time came for my grandfather. If there is more left to take care of, please let me know.

I assumed I'd be in the office today and the unending string of snow days is really throwing me off - I have significant trouble even knowing what day it is right now.

Good call on passing on the prayer cards. Some people may miss them, but my experience is that the vast majority of them get recycled (at best) or thrown out (at worst), other than a very small number tucked into drawers by family members. (My very Catholic biological family hoards them like trading cards and it always struck me as morbid.)

Actually, this was all done yesterday in a bit of a whirlwind -- it wasn't until today that I got next Sunday lined up, and chilled out a *lot* once I knew that there was no major time pressure.

In practice, the funeral parlor deals with damned near everything -- that's part of the nickel-and-diming service, but mostly why they charge a mammoth fee upfront. (They were good enough to check on the color of the flowers upfront, though. "Most people prefer pastels." "No.")

And I definitely agree about the morbidness with the prayer cards. The whole notion squicked me slightly, and I definitely think it doesn't suit Jane...

Hi Justin -
If you can think of anything I can do for you to help, please let me know.
Li and I would be glad to offer a place to stay, if 1 or 2 folks from away need crash space so they can attend. (Send us the cat-loving musicians who smoke...)

Thanks. I suspect we'll need at least some crash space, so that may be helpful. (Although the timing is deliberately such that I expect a fair number of people to do the funeral on the way home from Birka...)

*hugs* We'll be there. Let me know if there's anything we can do....

I can't make it this weekend (long ago signed up for a class that has the very first meeting that afternoon, feh) but my best wishes are sent. And if you hold a memorial service come spring... may I suggest the weekend of Carolingia's 40th? That would also be a time when others may be in town.

That's the Very Tentative Plan. (That is, I agree that Sunday May 1st is the most obvious date, and I've nosed that about and gotten a lot of head-nodding, but there's nothing more definite than that quite yet.)

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