It could have been a nightmare scenario, and it some ways it was a nightmare. A memorial service for a friend who I had known since Kindergarten was the place. He died suddenly over a month ago. He was also good friends with J. It is from this connection that the nightmare scenario springs. She was there, with people we once both counted as friends, but who now support her. I am a people-pleaser and am very uncomfortable when I am aware someone does not like me. Until the very moment I entered the room, I had doubts about going to the service. Fortunately, the Irish Bird Assassin joined me in celebration of his life and gave me courage and a kindred spirit.
As IBA reminded me, this was about him, not me. I tried to focus on that, but probably worried too much about my own concerns – cursed vanity! We found a table in the corner, watched a slide show of pictures, laughed and cried a little with the memories, and decided to leave after about fifteen minutes. No one had approached us and we had approached no one. Saw J, she was crying, but she looked good and that made me happy for her. I wish I had been courageous enough to talk to people regardless of what they might have thought of me, and I wish I would have spoken to and given J a hug. That is what R would have done, and it would have been right to carry that on in that place. Cowardice is powerful.
R was a good friend to both J and I, but when everything occurred, we lost touch once again. In my misplaced chivalry, I felt she needed his support more than I did. How very selfish of me to think I had any say in who or how he should support anyone. So, I had seen him only once, in the grocery store, between that time and when he died. Regrets are powerful.
The two of us traveled to a local establishment and raised a toast to our departed friend, which was appropriate. It had been a difficult evening, especially for IBA, but we found a closure of sorts, I think. Since I believe that our spirits stay around, I never see death as a complete farewell. Memories are powerful. We talked and laughed and settled on where we would meet when she next found her way home. And then she bestowed on me a particular kindness that touches me deeply: the gift of music – a box of CDs she no longer needed as they were all part of her digital library now. And what a joy it is listening through them! I needed to share this night with her and feel honored that she shared it with me. Kindness is powerful
One door closes…
Facebook has been a particular godsend for me. I have always been terrible with staying in touch with anyone. So, through the magic of technology, I am able to reconnect with a minimum of effort. Some may find that lazy, or mercenary, but I find it incredibly convenient. Last night, I was “friended” (what an odd verb conversion – I am still uncomfortable with the verbing of nouns – oh crap, I just did it again!) by someone I have not seen for over 16 years. She has a magnificent voice, is beautiful and kind and interesting, and I had been trying to locate her for years. Serendipitously, she chose to request me as a FB friend in the wake of… a wake. She made me smile. Which is as good an ending as any.