I went to a funeral today. A Mass of Christian Burial, although, these days I think they are called Memorial Masses. It doesn’t matter what the label might be. It was just one example of our human ritual of “putting someone to rest.” It is a curious thing, if you ask me.
You see, my cousin died. She had a lot of struggles in her life, and she died too young, I think. Lung cancer. Liver cancer. Among other things. Her name was Jennifer. Jenny.
It was a sad morning. My cousin and I worked together for a lot of years. We had a daily connection, and for many years, she was a good and trusted friend. Then time moved, and we moved with it. In recent years, we had very little contact with each other. And today. This.
There were a lot of good stories and fond memories. Her closest family, her mother, her daughter, siblings, and ex-husband seemed to feel the greatest grips of grief. That wave of unmistakable pain when someone dies, and we realize we will never look in to each other’s eyes again. Our human selves are forever parted. We ache. We yearn. We borrow down deep and try to find that place which might feel that same fullness again. But it is gone.
This world is so full. It swirls and flows, and sometimes it grinds. We are all a part of one another here, each of us doing our best to be our good human selves. That in itself, can sometimes feel overwhelming and trying to make sense of it all, can be daunting. Especially the someone dies. When they go. The thought of life’s enormity is incomprehensible. But here we are, trying to make the best sense of things. The best we know how.
I believe there is a beyond. A space on the other side of this human place. The priest, in his sermon, said that “We move from life, to life.” And I agree. But while we are in this one, I think it is important to live, and to do, what is right in front of us. In every moment, we should try to make the right choice. Not so that we will be remembered when we are gone. I think it is more that we can take those things with us — those choices, those ways, that will forever become a part of our souls. And somewhere, somehow, we will meet again.
I went to a funeral today.
“I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
“We just did an awesome job of not dying.”
― John Green
“I am not afraid to die; I am only afraid of saying goodbye to you forever.”
― Shannon L. Alder