In honor of her birthday a couple of weeks ago…a repost.
It was no easy task watching my friend bury his sister, the mother of two, daughter of one, friend of my family. But it was made so much easier with the feeling of deep love and compassion that intermingled with the sadness. Surprised at a picture of us that made me feel that I had been hugged through the veil. The coming together from all corners of the state, all over the country of friends who simply wanted to let her brother, her only sibling, know that we loved her too.
It was beautiful. And cold.
We stood outside in a line that lasted upwards of two hours to see our friends. We hugged in that line, we laughed and wept. We questioned and shook our heads. We remembered as we snaked in and out of rooms and lined up chairs. Until we met with my boy, J. It rained love.We gave thanks for thirty years of knowing such an exceptional person. We met afterwards with the out-of-towners to process and laugh. The next day, after the funeral, I was talking to a friend, a dear friend, and mentioned how fortunate we were that we have this sacred thread. That we are allowed to weep and mourn as much as we laugh. There is nothing superficial in our friendship. We have buried others that we have loved after laughing til our sides hurt.
How can we not see that as the blessing it is? Watching each other’s children grow, seeing our parents age and some pass. Wearing our hearts in such a way that the others can see. It is sacred, what we have.
I love them dearly, whether near or far. At one point during the funeral, our beloved priest who celebrated her life, challenged the people assembled and said, “It will be up to all of you to show these two children, her children, the love, mercy and compassion of God.” At which point, my friend had his arms outstretched linking his father and his nephew between him and nodding his head yes. It was a moment that I hadn’t expected. The unmarried uncle, with no children of his own, clearly picking up the mantle to continue the love that he was given.
I am immensely proud to be his friend. He carried it all. The women in his family are gone but he can do it. He has always had an enormous heart but that day it seemed to explode in a way that blessed everyone in the room. Which he told me later had been his hope to make it okay, to make it happy. Our happy J. My prayer is that what was unspooled will continue to grace his family with strength and love as they move forward through all the times to come.
|RIP Sue z|