Last week I wrote about attending the first funeral since Bryon had died.
Today I attended my second.
Unlike Andy, I did not know the deceased well. He was the father of one of my best friends. I saw him at their wedding and at the kids birthday parties. He made some delicious chicken wings. It was clear that they were important to him and that he loved them very much.
I feel for my friend. I might know grief but I do not know what it is like to lose a parent. Three of the girls in our tribe have lost a parent. My Chicago best friend and my Maine best friend have lost their mothers at a young age as did my Maine’s best friend’s husband (The Scientist).
And of course, my daughter is also a member of this club.
I have lost three of my grandparents (and my grandmother isn’t doing well currently) and when I lost them, I felt that the memories of them slip further into the past. I feel like there is an active past and a distant past.
The active past consists of people who are alive and memories with those people and the events were probably more recent. Memories like your friend’s wedding last year or that time you went to Chipotle with a friend and your daughter smeared guacamole all over her face. (That might actually be everytime).
To me, the distant past are the memories that are centered around a deceased person, like the times when my Papa Crowley brought us to Horn Pond (pronounced Hond Pond) to feed the ducks or the conversations I had with my Grandma Sullivan.
Of course, some memories fall in the middle of the spectrum. Bryon and my wedding should be in the active past because it was only five years ago and so many of the people who were there are around. But Bryon was a pivotal player in those memories and he is gone. Therefore my wedding feels like it is more in the distant past than the active past.
Again, my parents are still here but I imagine that the transition of the parent going from the active past to the distant past is more pronounced and painful than that of a grandparent. It must make one’s childhood feel further away.
I also feel that the process of losing a parent ages you in a way. Not physically, but the pain gives you more wisdom.
I could be totally off of the mark. And if I am, please tell me. I want to increase my understanding.
Anyway, I digress.
I spent the afternoon at the funeral home. It is important to support the people you care about. I know it meant the world to me that people came to pay their respects when Bryon passed. The grieving need to know that they are loved and are supported.
I may not have known the deceased well but I am thankful that he lived.
He loved his daughter and grandsons. They are his legacy and my daughter and I greatly benefit from his legacy. His daughter and grandsons enrich my life and my daughter’s life.
It’s a great reminder that we are connected. The people in our lives and the events in our lives connect us all. So take time to appreciate everyone in your life, even if you don’t know them well. They are in your life for a reason, even if their role wasn’t a big role.