My uncle’s brother died this week. His name to me was always “Uncle Neal” even though we were not related by blood. I received a text this am asking me where my dad was buried and realized that today must be Uncle Neal’s funeral. It seems he is being buried in the same Jewish cemetery in Florida.
This morning I was searching all over google, and then my computer, for words I haven’t seen since the last time I went hunting for the exact location of my dad’s grave. As time goes by, I have to remind myself of where he’s buried.
“Jewish Cemetery Florida”
“Star of David Jewish Cemetery Florida”
I started to feel a deep sorrow… a specific grieving energy I haven’t felt in quite some time. Whenever I start remembering my dad is gone and all the bad memories that come along with that time period in my life, I start to feel really sad feelings in my body. It’s heavy, deep, and feels very much in my stomach and heart. It make me want to take deep breaths to release the energy… and tell myself that I’ve come a long way from that time period in my life… I have grown SO MUCH and have done so much work in the world, inspired by his death, my mom’s death and trying to live life to the fullest… breathing in and out… I continue on my search…
“Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Funeral Chapel” came up in google and I knew that was the one. The cemetery is big, and there are many “gardens” in it. I couldn’t find the map I once had emailed to myself, but the words “Garden of Esther” surfaced pretty quickly.
While hunting around, I also found the obituary I wrote for my dad on the web. I remember having to write it on a deadline… after I had just woken up to his no longer living body the day before I turned 23, in the hospital, and had then watched doctors try to recitative him, and then him being wheeled out in a body bag… after eating steak, a baked potato and a diet coke at a local NJ diner with my cousin Barbara and my mom in honor of him… it was all very strange. Not your average day to say the least. He was here and then he was gone. It’s always an odd feeling to change the tense of the words you use to describe them from HE IS to HE WAS.
I was thankful for the information I had collected before he died so that I didn’t have to think so hard about his story. His work was extremely important to him, and his passion for technology is the reason I am who I am and I do what I do today.
My cousin Gary just called me from his grave while I was writing this! He put a rock down (a Jewish tradition) on the “L” for “Lisa” for me and let me “talk to my dad” on the phone by putting the phone down near his grave. I believe my dad is floating around the universe, helping people out, including guiding me in clarifying intuition and where to go next, but energetically it feels really nice to have such close contact with him. During the call, I plucked up my dad’s “CBS NEWS” hat that’s been sitting on my office altar for a while. I am wearing it right now as I continue to edit this this post 🙂
I found his obituary online after sharing it with our facebook support group, I was inspired to share this here on my blog.
My dad’s obituary:
(photos added only for today’s post – I can’t find the original photo that was in the paper)
Birth: Dec. 4, 1949
New York, USA
Death: Oct. 14, 2004
New Jersey, USA
Michael J. Snyder
YARDVILLE — Michael J. Snyder, 54, died Thursday at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after a long illness.
Born in the Bronx, Mike resided on Long Island for many years before moving to Princeton Junction and finally settling into Yardville.
In 1967 he graduated from Plainedge High School in Massapequa, NY and continued his education at C.W. Post College for Theater Arts and Radio, NY Institute of Technology for Television Production, and RCA Institute for Electronics. He had a love for music and sound; Mike was a drummer for many years and enjoyed all kinds of music, favoring mostly show tunes and jazz.
He was an avid computer and technology fan who loved to work with, build and test electronic equipment. For the past 24 years he worked for CBS Television in New York as a video engineer. Credits include “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,” “Eye to Eye with Connie Chung,” “Day & Date,” “CBS Sports,” “NFL Today,” “Up to the Minute,” “Channel 2 News,” “The Charles Perez Show,” “Gordon Elliot Show,” “Hubble Telescope Repair Mission,” “Politically Incorrect” for HBO, as well as many others.
In 1988, he won an Emmy Award for technical excellence as senior video engineer for the “NFL Today” as well as two other nominations, and was later nominated again for a Daytime Emmy for the “Day & Date” show.
In 1988, in addition to his duties at CBS, he was the vice president of operations for Starlight Communications, Inc. It was here that he worked on direct satellite feeds to major network stations for projects such as Gorbechev’s meetings with presidents Reagan and Bush, including Camp David, ESPN’s “Top Rank Boxing” and other news events.
Prior to CBS, Mike worked at PBS WNET as master control supervisor in audio and video. He also worked for New Jersey Public Television as a transmitter engineer, at the Kentucky Educational Television Network from 1974 to 1975 as an audio and maintenance engineer, and at WLEX-TV in Lexington, KY working with audio, video and maintenance.
From 1972 to 1973 he worked for Harman-Kardon in Plainview, NY doing final assembly, test and trouble shooting for the Rabco turntable division. From 1969 to 1970 he worked at NBC-TV as a network sales assistant and moved to NBC Radio Network as an engineer mixing and editing for News and Entertainment.
Son of the late Emanuel and Lillian Snyder, he is survived by his daughter, Lisa Anne Snyder of Yardville; his former wife Joanne M. Snyder of Morrisville, PA; a brother and sister-in-law Gene and Roz Snyder of Phoenix, AZ; a sister and brother-in-law, Phyllis and Marty Williky in Keller, TX; his nephews, Gary and Robert Williky of Colleyville, TX; Scott Snyder of Scottsdale, AZ; his nieces Barbara Lyons of Old Bridge, Tami Strauss of Chandler, AZ, Joan Boiko of Palm Springs, CA; and all of their familes and many cousins.
Funeral services are 2 p.m. Sunday at Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Road, Ewing Township.
Burial will be Tuesday at Star of David Cemetery, North Lauderdale, FL.
Memorial contributions may be offered to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 216 Haddon Ave., Westmont, NJ 08108.
Published in The Times, Trenton, on 10/16/2004.