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Well of course it’s about me

We lost a family friend a few weeks ago.  My mother and him were neighbors as kids, and then they grew up and started lives in Canada.  For me, he was an uncle; I didn’t know we weren’t related till much later.  He was family, and his two sons were fondly welcome playmates growing up.  We were children together and grew into teenaged geeks together.

But life happens, of course, and university and careers swept us across the world on the wind.  At this point we’ve mostly been out of touch for years.  And it took this loss to draw our threads once again briefly together.

I don’t like funerals.  Not that anybody does, but I still feel the need to say so.  On the other hand, I think those are important.  Of all the major moments that we mark with ceremony, they’re the only one that is based in loss and not celebration.  And they’re the only one where the featured guest at best only half the point.  But you go because the person who passed away was important.  And you go because the people left behind are important.   Either way, I had to be there. 

I wish it was because I’m comforting or something like that but honestly, the big life events are more about the masses.  I think that people are too busy with grief and shock and dealing with the event handling to really register that I was somewhere or not.  But I also think it’s comforting to people when the shock passes and the healing starts, and they look back and see that there were a lot of people there to mark their loved one’s passing.

So being an unimportant cog in the system, I went to pay my respects and to say hello to old friends.  I got to meet the younger brother’s new wife, and see their mother for the first time in ages.  And while I was talking to the older brother, and reflecting on the long time since we’d talked, he mentioned that he’d discovered this blog.

And that’s how someone else’s funeral becomes about me.  Because after the reflective navel-gazing about life and death, now I’m thinking about the fact that someone found this place that I admit was set up to be found.  Except I never really thought about that aspect of it, and now that I’m thinking of it, I realize that I’ve left this particular front door profoundly neglected.

I’m not sure what it means, exactly.  But the goal is to feel a lot less embarrassed the next time someone mentions that they’ve read my blog.

And to my aunt and her boys, my condolences.

The photo was taken by Guy Mayer

Posted in life, me.

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  1. Elizabeth Marie says

    I am sorry for the loss of this family friend. It’s good that you went, for the family, for you, to say goodbye to what had been, maybe? Selfishly, I’m glad your friend found this blog, too, because my house lit up when I saw in my reader that you had posted. And, look, people in my “real” life have started finding my blog, too, and I feel this sense that I should be mortified. But I’m not. Can’t wait to see what you do here.

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