03 August 2004


I went to a memorial service yesterday for a man I had never met. For some reason‚ it reminded me of when I was younger‚ when I couldn’t go to a funeral without becoming completely hysterical. Even if I was just there to comfort a friend. I think it gave too tangible of a face to the feelings of fear‚ death and not knowing what the world is all about.

Forces you to confront all of the unknowns and what ifs and feelings of inadequacy. And for someone close to you‚ you have the added guilt of not doing‚ not saying‚ not remembering. And feeling bad for feeling guilty‚ for thinking of yourself instead of them. And knowing you’ve lost them forever. That’s the scary part‚ how quickly we forget. How quickly the world resumes spinning‚ and something takes the place you felt would stay empty forever.

I think I would like the same sort of service‚ simple church ceremony‚ some songs and hardly any mention of the deceased. Over almost before you have time to tear up‚ and long before any hysterics. No coffin‚ no body‚ no ashes. People leaving and feeling like they can go on with their morning‚ like the world is supposed to keep going. Of course‚ I do want a gravesite. There’s something comforting about visiting a cemetery‚ even though you know the people aren’t there anymore. Nice for the leftovers to be able to make a tradition of it‚ mother’s day‚ father’s day‚ birthday or whatever‚ to visit with some flowers and feel like you have someplace set aside in the world for that person‚ a place where they won’t be forgotten.

How different cemeteries are from funerals. And I want one of those little picture frames with a picture of me in it‚ from when I’m still young. I made a special point to remember a line from one of the songs they played at the service‚ The Christian Life‚ it was something about time erasing the days until memories are long gone. But something about it was ironic. And now I can’t remember it for anything.

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