On leaving….

We all have it, that ensemble that comes out to wear to a funeral home. One of many outfits that are appropriate for such an occasion. I’d personally like to wear day-glo, combat boots and 100 black rubber bracelts, my uniform from all of those years ago. But we are grown ups now, that wouldn’t be right….ok, then I want to stay home and dig through pictures, yearbooks and memories. Today I do not want to go to the funeral home. Because this time, this day, tells me I am old. This is the day it sinks in.

I look in the mirror before heading out the door. Its not the greying hair, nor the wrinkles, that mark my arrival at this chapter. It is this, the death of old friends and lovers.

It’s not something you think about really,  who would leave this place first. Why would you? When you’ve known someone for more than half of your life, they will just always be there. So what? You miss a get together, you’ll see them at the next one. You responded to that last message with a one word answer because you were busy. But now, there are no more get togethers, no more messages. Gone.

Flash forward. The evening passes in remembrances, each of us sharing stories, jokes, and the like. We are people who have shared a level of love or friendship, and that bond, in our case, spans over three decades. We grieve for what their children must feel, their partner, their parents.

We put out our hands to strangers, say our names and tell of how we knew him. We offer words of condolence that seem trivial in the moment. We nod, smile, nod again and become ourselves. All the while faced with our own mortality. This was one of us, our group, our circle.

This a skill I don’t want to master, this funeral thing, this weeping, this laughing, this hugging thing. We will vow to get together soon. We mutter that hopefully it won’t be under these circumstances. But, among us, the old ones here, friends and colleagues, we know it is only a matter of time.

We try not to wonder who will be next, when we will next meet. We try not to look at each other with these thoughts.

It would seem we have arrived.

I know that we will all meet again. I truly believe that in life our souls recognize and gravitate to each other throughout time. The people who we know now, we’ve always known, in many lifetimes, in one form or another. With all of my heart, I hope this to be true.

Advertisements

John 8:7, Matthew 7:1-3-well, you get my drift

You never notice it, not in the beginning.
An event, or series of events, start a ball rolling in a direction you never expected. It’s subtle, like the way the seasons change or children grow. And all too often, it’s silent. It changes us, our lives, our friends and our families.
Then, it stops, you are there, its time…
No matter how strong, or how prepared you are, you ave no choice but to hit it head on. You made the choice to follow the proverbial ball, and stand by that choice you must.
It is hard, heartbreaking, confusing and painful.
You will doubt your sanity, your choices and your feelings.
Your friends and family will question if your really are who they thought you were.
But, you are!
You are the same person who fights for the human being, regardless of race, creed, spiritual path or orientation. You are still the one who wants to rescue everyone and everything on the planet. You still believe fiercely that there is good in everyone, and you pray every day that the world sees it soon. You know, because you’ve made your share, that we are more than our choices and mistakes. And you believe, with unwavering faith, in those that you love.
It is important, more than ever, to remember that life doesn’t happen to us. Our life, our destiny, is a direct result of our choices. To be our true selves, we must recognize and accept this. But still, in this process, I think we need to see that a single flaw or choice can NEVER define us. Despite the ramifications of that choice, we are still human. Still someone’s child, sibling, parent, friend or partner.
So my prayer today is this-instead of standing as judge and jury of someone, take a minute and BE their parent, child, sibling or partner. There, but for the grace of God go you. And you, having never walked that path, have no right to judge their choices to stand by their loved one through whatever path they are on.

As always, responsible discussion welcomed, be an ass and you’re gone 🙂