Today, I played the role of "chazzan" for my first funeral.
It was intense and scary, sad and heartbreaking. An experience I wasn't looking forward to, though I knew it would come eventually.
Out of love and respect for this family and their loved ones, I don't want to speak too candidly about the experience. All I will say is that it doesn't matter how well you know the person who passed or the family in mourning--singing in front of the heartbroken family and friends of that person is difficult. For a sometimes overly-emotional person like me, who DID know the person (though not well) and has close ties to his family and friends, it's tough to put the blinders on and get the job done.
But somehow, I did, and the service went as well as could be expected.
I was truly honored to sing for this family, and it will be an experience I will never forget. Thank you for choosing me to help make the service a beautiful one for the hundreds of loved ones who attended. My heart and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
May Michael's memory be for a blessing, and may you all be comforted among the mourners of Zion.