Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guest Post: CC Columbo "Another Funeral"

Another funeral today. Odd how you never seem to see those in Second Life, but Real Life is full of them. Except instead of burying an uncle today, I watched snow bury my town and keep us at home instead of risking my mother's health by taking her to the cemetery to see her brother one last time. My cousin joked "Dad went to great lengths to keep attendance low by making sure we had a snow storm" when I spoke with her early in the morning to express our regrets that we couldn't attend. Five hours later and I think my uncle might have over done it as the snow is still falling.

I don't feel sad for him. I feel sad for those who never knew him. He lived nearly 93 years – his birthday is next week – and filled the time with several children, two wives (both pre-deceasing him) and a "late December" romance with a remarkable woman (it was cute to look in the living room window before knocking on the front door only to see these 80-something year-olds fast asleep and holding hands). After leaving the Navy he still worked at the shipyard helping to make the tools that aided in keeping our nation safe. He was so respected as an elder in his church that even the pastors deferred to him to keep the small congregation thriving. I suspect that the Angels are now listening to my uncle with the same deference. He was that kind of guy and he died with dignity.

Countless (at least by me) grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped light his life in later, very active years. I used to cringe as I watched him fight his Parkinson's Disease symptoms whenever he insisted on walking across the busy street from his home to ours for visits, but it was hard to say No to anything he wanted or to disbelieve in his abilities. "Tough old bird" was a characteristic that he inherited from his parents that I hope I can find in me if I'm as long-lived.

This is rambling, but I don't deal with death well since burying my 2-year old daughter so long ago yet far too recently. What is the value in grief? There are times I can espouse many logical-sounding answers. Not today. I'm not dealing well with another funeral today.

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