Thursday, August 10, 2006

alone.

Maya got to spend an hour with her Uncle David today. From what I hear, they had a really fun time.

I didn't.

I had to attend a funeral...alone. My parents' neighbor died this week after several difficult months of cancer attacking one organ after another. My parents are at the cabin right now. So because I grew up next door, wandered often through their extensive gardens, and played occasionally with his grandchildren, I was sent as the representative of my family. As I approached the church, I wondered what I would say... or if I needed to say anything...
The line to sign the guest book trailed out the doors. There were hundreds of people filling the pews--probably more than on most Sundays. I felt out of place, awkward without my daughter, without Ryan...or anyone. It wasn't a terrible feeling, just strange and uncomfortable. The only familiar face was the Marie, the widow.

And suddenly I realized how completely alone *she* was. How uncomfortable and awkward her new role must be.

Her fragile smile looked tired as she greeted her friends and family members. Always a hostess. They used to throw dinner parties together on their patio and in the gazebo, surrounded by carefully tended flowers, winding brick paths, a small waterfall cascading into a tiny pond filled with goldfish. They were best friends.

After the benediction, I got to go home...to hold Maya and meet my best friend for lunch. He promised me that he'd never die.

2 comments:

ANTI-ONION SOCIETY said...

I am sorry, ang..i thought your voice sounded weary today when we talked. i love you.

Janell said...

I've never had to go to a funeral alone. I find that I am more deeply affected by something if I am by myself, so I can imagine how truly alone you must have felt at a ceremony marking the most absolute form of separation we know in this life.

I'm sorry for the loss of life, and for your feelings of isolation, but so thankful for the thoughtful insight. I hope some time with Ryan and sweet Maya brought joy back to your heart.