Wow. I cannot believe I miscounted the number of funerals I have attended this year. I left Willy’s out. How can I leave out the funeral of an 11 year old of one of my very good friends? I drove 3-½ hours each day to attend. So, the count is actually six. Two 80 year olds, a 46 year old, a 16 year old, an 11 year old and my 15 year old. That is more funerals than I’ve been to in my life combined.
Today is the funeral of the a neighbor and friend. Victoria was in Girl Scouts with Shayna. She was also on the volleyball team with Shayna. I look at her parents Tim and Joan as they are participating in the burial rites of their precious baby daughter. I know what they are feeling. I look at them as I looked at Dawn (Willy’s mother) and I feel like I can literally feel their pain. This happens at several times during the service.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago death is no-thing and death is everything. At these funerals, that is brought home all the more. I know the pain of the parents now. I think I can relate to the pain of the spouses. But at the same time I know the “departed” are right here. I picture Shayna with Victoria there together trying to comfort us to know avail. The death of a sixteen year old is tragic. No amount of faith changes that. It’s a rough day. But for Shayna and Victoria, I’m sure they’re saying “It’s no big deal. It won’t be long. I’m right here.”
After the funeral we head to Columbus for the family Christmas celebration. This is a day I’ve dreaded. I love my family. They are good people. But, it’s all about small talk and I’m just not much for small talk. We walk into my brother’s house. It’s full of people, but conspicuous by their absence are Shayna and my Aunt Betty who passed a couple of months ago. Her husband, my father’s twin, is there.
I get through it. I put on a smile for everyone. I join in the talk, play six to eight black men for them. We exchange gifts. Ty and I talk afterwards. She was feeling the same hole without having Shayna here. The thing is there is no where I want to be. Here, there…. does it really matter? It’s all the same. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We have the drive back home, have to pick up the dogs, do the shopping for Christmas dinner and get it all done before everything shuts down for Christmas. What a week it’s been. Already had two funerals. Just one more day and Christmas will be over.