Monday, May 07, 2007

Death Among Us

It has been a while since I have had to go to a funeral, so this last weekend I was very saddened to accompany my husband as he said good bye to a good friend, Mike. I have burried aquaintences and grandparents, but I've never seen someone have to burry a buddy. Watching sobbing, and fighting my own tears I hope we don't have to do this again for a long long time.

My husbands friend was like a brother to him, someone who laughed with him and challenged, even aggrevated him. Mike was the center of a whole world of good friends who played poker, watched sports and traveled together. My husband even stood up for Mike when he married, briefly, in the eighties.

We traveled 8 hours to attend his funeral that didn't do justice to "The Mike" and left all of his friends yearning for a fuller experience and a deeper grieving venue. How could a funeral ever do justice to someone who was so very present and alive? Certainly not a funeral full of preaching. No one was able to get up and eulogize him properly, and it seems many fought the urge to walk out.

I find myself weeping at times for my husbands loss. I have been facing my own futility this last week, because try as I might with hugs and kisses I could never really make this better for him. My husband is going to have to process this sudden and premature loss all by himself. Not only do I want to make it better for him but I am struggling to process the loss too. How does someone so vital sit down on his couch and die alone at the age of 50? How vulnerable are we all? What thread keeps us all going, yet takes someone so special.

This is not something we will ever really understand, and like the other deaths I have experienced it haunts us in the strangest of moments. It seems unreal. Despite the open casket and the empty shell inside it this will seem unreal for a very long time. My husband has lived so far away from Mike and his large group of firends for a few years now. This will take some time yet to believe it is true. For them it is immediate and horrible. What do you do when you can't go see Mike two or three times a week?

Mike left without an official will, so as his passing is shocking enough, the familys impending struggle to settle his affairs leaves us all sickened and reeling. It has me wondering - are my affairs in order? Are we going to be ready when death comes for us? Can I spare my family unnecessary and prolonged pain?

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