I just flew out from my sister-in-law’s memorial service. This was the second one, six weeks after her death. They had one the first week for local friends, but the one for family was held out of town so her elderly parents could attend. It was the inverse of our situation, while we had to compress everything into three days to accommodate the family that had already gathered, they had to revisit the memorial phase six weeks later. My brother admitted it was rough going back there. He wasn’t the only one.
Blur your eyes a bit and the photo loop could be the same one that ran at our wake, in fact one of the photos had both of them in it. The youngest daughter in the family photos, the young mother playing with her baby with that irrepressible smile, that 80s hair, silly Christmases with toddlers at my parents’ house, the chaotic family shots, the stolen pictures of the camera-shy not quite middle aged woman.
Does anybody else hear an echo in here?
I’m listening to the American Idiot cast recording as I write this, and this lyric comes along:
Summer has come and passed,
The innocent can never last.
Wake me up
When September ends.
Facing our futures unexpectedly alone, we are both are still lucky men, because those summers were so sweet. But after nearly eight months, I’m getting pretty sick of this September.
On a layover in an all too familiar airport, I briefly think to call home, then catch myself. The wounds open for a bit, but it passes much more quickly than the last time I was here. I don’t know if it hurts less or I’m just getting used to it. I suppose it doesn’t even matter.
This is what healing feels like. Letting the pain come, accepting instead of fighting it, flinching less, feeling more. Get it over with, keep moving.