Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hard Goodbyes, Continued

Catholic Cemetery, St. Augustine, FL
I'm not surprised I ended my week with the crud.  It's more than a cold, not as bad as the flu.  Just enough to have me hunkering down with a kleenex box, some warm soup and a good book all weekend.

For me, there's a definite link between stress and illness.  It's not always true, but it's amazing how often I come down with something during or just after a stressful week.  And, for me, last week definitely qualified as stressful.

Charlie's funeral on Monday was a wonderful sendoff for a sweet man.  As his fourteen year-old son stood at the front and read, with clear eyes and voice, a poem his dad had written for him, I was blubbering in the back of the room.  As they stated so well in his obit, 'his leaving has left a Charlie-sized hole in the universe that will be hard to fill'.  I will miss him.  But, I think, I hope, I pray that his parting won't leave a void as big in the lives of his children as Mom's did in mine.  Young Mack will not need to take on the sort of responsibilities that I did - his mother will be able to support him, he will be able to finish living his teenage years as a teen.  A teen keenly missing his Dad's strong and steady guide light, but a teen all the same.  

Walter's mother's funeral later in the week was a different kind of sad.  Here was a woman who had lived long and loved well.  While the sting of parting was still there - it's always hard to say goodbye to those we love - there was more of a sense of a job well done; a life well-completed before she moved on to those distant shores.

So many goodbyes, so many tears.  So much laughter and smiling through the tears because of the joy of having known these good people.  I've always been told death is not the end; that we will meet those we love again.  I can only hope so.  Because I already have a TON of stories saved up that I'd love to share...

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