What is it about a funeral that brings out the Zabar’s in people?  What halacha did I miss in all my years learning in Israel and at JTS that says that there must be more smoked fish at a shiva house than the total body weight of the deceased?

Mr. EK’s stepfather passed away somewhat suddenly* on Sunday, and the funeral was Tuesday in Manhattan (note to Riverside Memorial: it’s probably a good idea, and infinitely more professional, to haggle over $$$ sometime OTHER than 20 minutes before the funeral.  Also, make sure to pick someone other than my mother-in-law to pull that crap with.  Yes, that was the sound of canceling checks you heard.)

So.  I forgot that a funeral in NY and the surrounding area is an odyssey.  We are so spoiled here in EK land where the funeral home is a true class act, the funeral director is a mensch, a car picks you up, takes you to the service, then takes you to the cemetery which is 10 minutes away, and then deposits you back home.  2 hours, max and that’s if lots of people speak.  In NY, the drive out to the cemetery on Long Island is at minimum an hour all by itself.  And that’s after the funeral service which you had to navigate Manhattan traffic to get to, and from.  Then the burial, the drive home, etc.  We left my MIL’s apartment on the upper east side at 10am and didn’t get back until almost 3:30pm.  It’s ridiculous.

A HUGE shout out to the Pizza Family who no longer blogs, but whom I am publicly acknowleging as some of the best friends anyone can have.  They came into Manhattan for the funeral from New Jersey (no easy feat at that hour of the morning) just to be there for me and Mr. EK and our boys.  They had never met my in laws, certainly didn’t know anyone besides us.  This is true friendship and a true chesed you have done for us and we are so unbelievably blessed to have you in our lives and WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

*he was nearly 83 with severe dementia (is there any other kind, really?) and the speed with which this all happened is actually a blessing.