I should be in bed.
Went to a funeral visitation today.
Buried one of our pet cats yesterday. Two tangible reminders in one week to the fragility of life.
I will miss her. (The cat)
She was feral.
We called her “Miss Kitty”.
Pretty sure she was abused before she showed up at our door. Never, really trusted us.
But she did have a special relationship with Libby. The two of them would snuggle together in the winter.
Funerals, funeral visitations, receiving lines, that whole flurry of activity that comes with a death. Mom and I were talking about all that stuff again recently. She agreed with me when I said the less you say the better. Hugs, warm handshakes, look the family in the eye…but no empty cliches!
That approach has served me well the last several times.
The month my father-in-law died, my favorite grandma also died, then a few weeks later, a third person. We were emotionally numb. I can still remember our friends Leslie and Mel, Chris and Kelly, sitting in the foyer of the funeral home just hanging around. They knew this was our 3rd trip to the funeral home in a month. Just their presence there was enough.
Few years ago, when we were more involved hosting concerts, Beth Wood a singer/ songwriter stayed with us one weekend. She had just released her album Beachcombers Daughter. One of my favorite songs on that album was called Funeral Day.
It goes like this:
We were laughing, it was funeral day
I guess it might seem strange that we’d behave that way
It was just our bodies craving levity,
My grief a heavy blanket weighing down on me
So we laughed until the sun went down
Trading stories, passing the bottle around
Recalling all the good times we had
It didn’t seem so sad
It all started at the parlor doors
Cousin Henry’s kid tripped on an extension chord
We busted out, what else could we do?
Hell, I knew that you were up there crackin’ up, too
So we laughed until the preacher came in
Then we settled down and we listened to him
Staring at your photograph
It didn’t seem so sad
Well we got some dirty looks from the old blue-hair crowd
But with all due respect, I think we did you proud
By laughing out loud
…it’s just a simple story, we’re here and then we’re gone
So I laugh remembering that day
How we carried on and how it washed our tears away
I’m smiling and I’m looking back
It doesn’t seem so sad.
Sending this one out to all of you that are missing someone.
Whether it’s been just a few weeks or 20 years.