We went to our friend's funeral yesterday. It was beautiful and difficult, as I suppose funerals always are. Gregg and I found ourselves crying, for Cary, for Dave, for their three daughters and for Katie. It is all connected, in the way that all unfair, wrong, sad human events are.
Watching those beautiful, strong, brave, intelligent girls struggle with their grief, and the public grieving of a whole bunch of other people, was the worst part, for me. Filing past the closed casket, which was covered with gorgeous white roses, and passing the girls as they wept, was so difficult that it nearly made me want to run away. I am not their closest friend. I do not have the intimacy and shared past with them that would make it natural for them to want my arms around them, but I wanted to hold them and weep with them, for their loss of their mother, and for our loss of our daughter. It was searing.
Watching the slideshow of Cary's life, her smiles -- her joy, intelligence & love -- came blazing through the photos: love for her family, her animals, friends, different activities, but most of all, for her husband and children.
I hope we don't need to attend another funeral for a long, long time. During the past 14 months, we have attended Auntie Bernice's, Katie's, Uncle Howard's, Mary's & Cary's memorial services. It was worth the discomfort, to support the family with our presence. I know that we cannot ease their pain, or fill the terrible void; what we can do is stand with them in the midst of their grief, so that they will not feel alone, and that is what we did.