There were several deaths in my family last year and amongst family friends. One of them was my dad’s brother, Uncle Ron. It was a shock, partly because it followed so closely on the death of my great aunt, and partially because he seemed like the picture of health and he’s only a few years younger than my Dad.
We had a family gathering last year shortly after he died, but the official funeral was about 6 months later in Arlington. We got there a few days in advance hoping to see some of Washington D.C., but the government was shut down so that didn’t work out very well. We did get to tour the Capitol and the Newseum with my parents, and otherwise hung out with my siblings and their kids in the hotel.
Uncle Ron lives down the road from Arlington, so he used to joke that when he died the hearse could pick him up at the house and drop him off down the road. It didn’t work quite like that what with the wait time, but they did make a stop in front of the house before going to the chapel at Arlington.
If you have the opportunity to see a military funeral for someone high-ranking, it is a thing to see. The family walked behind the military procession, consisting of a marching band, a bunch of soldiers, a caisson with the casket, and a riderless horse, then at the grave site there was a gun salute and a cannon firing. It’s not something I would want for myself, but it was perfect for him.