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Awkward but necessary

I was going to title this post "A good night's sleep", the contrast being the apostrophe, but I won't. I'll get to why later. And, obviously, why I changed it.

Anyway, yesterday, after the post, I worked on some more of the little things which are part of the difference between a group and a loose collection of affiliated individuals. I also made changes to my talk and prepared to give it.

If you'll recall, yesterday I was absolutely exhausted. When I get tired, the first thing which happens to me is that my mental processes slow down significantly. This was definitely the case yesterday. I was giving my talk and I got to slides where I needed to describe things from a graph, and my mind was taking to long to get to the point, and so the words came out jumbled and waffly.

After the talk, I fixed up a few more of the little things which needed fixing up, left before 6PM and went back to Geoff and Michelle's place. I spoke to Mum and Dad, and Rebecca and was asleep somewhere between 9 and 10PM. I ended up having more sleep last night than I did for the previous two, and feel a lot better for it.

This morning I gradually got up, went into uni, and did some work, before going of to a funeral. The funeral was for someone who had had ties with my family for a long time, and Dad had been like part of the extended family. In my adult life I have met the deceased and his wife once, although she remembered me from when I was little.

Understandably, given the nature of the event, and given that I didn't really know anybody very well, I felt quite awkward and uncomfortable. But it wasn't about me. I was there because both the deceased and the mourners had meant a lot to my father and my family and it was important to Dad that the family was represented to pay our respects.

It was a moving ceremony. I have now been to four Jewish funerals, and, despite having a fixed framework to work within, each one seems to have captured the essence of the person and the life. I am also glad that tradition tells what you should say. Otherwise it would be even worse, trying to come up with consoling words for people you barely (or don't) know.

After the service while the grave was being filled, someone who knows Dad (that doesn't narrow it down, does it?) and who I had contacted came up to me and introduced himself. He then introduced me to a (another?) family member, who described Dad as having been part of the extended family. I was then introduced to several more family members, none of whom knew me, some of whom knew Dad and some knew Pa and uncle Simon.

After being there for what I judged the correct amount of time (all the formal things had been done and I had said the things I am supposed to to the appropriate people), I then left to come back into uni to keep working on my talk.

I hate powerpoint, but am not going to go into that again.

Oh well, time to get back to trying to save the last couple of changes to the talk.


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