Many of you who have followed me have noticed how this month and last have been quite consumed with updates about people who have died. Sometimes this happens, I guess. It just feels like a whole lot of it right now. Tragedies. Every death. It’s amazing how different each service can be. Also amazing how death can make you use the f word. I love the f word.
I sat in these services and I spoke with people and I remembered it being closer to me and how that felt. I remember the fog. I couldn’t really say much to families this weekend, and could only pass on hugs. I know that saying nothing can be better than saying the wrong thing.
It makes you think when you attend a funeral. I saw people I hadn’t seen in years. I ran into people I had no idea knew the same person I did. I looked around and I saw tears of course, but I also saw joy. I heard laughter and song, and mostly I just watched. I watched people unable to do anything but slump forward and cry. I heard a mother-in-law say how it happened so fast and she felt like she was in a never ending nightmare. All I could say was, “The fog.” She looked at me and agreed. It’s OK to stay in the fog. It helps to be in the fog because when you come out, you have to face what’s real.
I like the way that the celebration of a person’s life brings people together. I think of what it must have been like when these friends’ parents had their children. People gathered, no doubt. A celebration. Birthday’s celebrated over many years…or not so many years. Gatherings in celebration. And the final send off, a celebration of a sad sort, many times.
I sat and watched friends remembering so many things. But I know the feeling that comes next. “Now what?” Driving away from the final celebration is such a strange, empty feeling. It’s hard to go home. It’s hard not to go home. It’s hard to see all of the things that surround you and not know what to do with them. Do you leave his toothbrush there or do you move it? It’s so simple and it consumes you. Filling out taxes…things that are so easy for everyone else, and all you can think is that a year from now when filling their name in the appropriate box is that it will be the last time. And yet.
Now begins the writing of the story. You are the greatest memory ever shared. It is hard now, but one day so soon, it will likely be sitting around sharing laughter and memories of you and your story and your spirit. The stories that begin “Remember when…”
The hardest part of writing this is that for one person, at least, this could be a hard thing to achieve. One little girl just lost her mama. She’s six years old, about to be seven, and her mommy won’t be there to celebrate. Depending on your beliefs, you may believe she will undoubtedly be there in spirit. I can absolutely see the spunk she passed on to her little girl!
It hits close to home when the person that died is roughly your age. When your children are the same age, you might think harder about how that could be you and your child and this could be them…and that’s hard. No amount of planning will prepare you for this. And that sucks. Again, four letter words coming to mind.
The village will surely play a huge role in supporting the survivors. Both of the memorials I attended this weekend were for people who gave with everything they had, and it seemed so easy. It would be done quietly and with the sweetest smile. I vow to be more like them.
Love until later,