It was a beautiful service, with many good memories of the departed, and it made me regret even more the way that Catholics handle it. My mother had a funeral mass, which is... a mass. Nothing was allowed to be said that wasn't part of the formal ritual, except in the presiding priest's sermon (who blew it, who had "memories" of my mother and father that just weren't so). Relatives were allowed to do the readings, but I was told I shouldn't, couldn't, even say that the reading I was about to give was the same I'd read at my father's funeral. Ah, well.
The family, extensive and extended, met at the Colonial Inn in Concord for dinner. The food itself was mediocre at best, but the company was excellent if you could stand the noise. The Inn is a warren of little rooms and our party was large enough to need two of the dining areas, across a hall from each other. The "kids room" for college age and those filling in the extra seats was apparently much quieter than the one we were in. Our room had many who've reached the point of being hard of hearing, and therefore need conversation at a louder volume, but then have added trouble hearing when there's a lot of ambient noise so you need to speak up even more... and so it got rather loud.
I took some photos during the dinner, and it's pushed me over to opening a Flickr account. Family photos don't belong on deviantART, and Photobucket has gotten more and more difficult to work with as they add "improvements", and there are way too many people involved to share through individual e-mails. The photos aren't uploaded yet, but now I can.
If you've never seen the comic "Buttercup Festival", please do, today's is especially good. There's even an LJ feed.