I did not eat well today because the funeral was this morning, and chocolate was sort of required to fix my pain. I held up strong all throughout the service and played my flute for the ceremony; it gave me something to do to distract me, which was very needed. But as soon as the congregation processed out of the church and the song was over, I broke down. My eyes were blinded by tears, I couldn't hear the movement of the choir around me, and I only vaguely remember the pats on my back and hugs from the adults. Two of the women cried and gave me hugs, thanking me repeatedly for playing such beautiful music, but I felt like I was in such a daze that I didn't really pay attention.
It's weird when you look around and most of the people you see are your age...young college students who laughed, partied, and studied (occasionally) all through grade school and even high school together. I went to private schools, so we were a very tight knit sort of group. And while it was nice to see people again, we shouldn't have seen each other dressed in black. Classmates shouldn't be going to funerals but weddings; it's just wrong. But I've already lost two friends to tragedy now, and both were ironically three days before a holiday (the last was three days before Christmas). My first friend who died was a guy in high school two years my senior, and we were kind of in that pre dating stage. You know, when you're flirting, and would've been texting or calling each other, except when he asked for my number, I didn't have a cell phone. And cursing my bad luck again, when he asked me to the Christmas dance, I had already been asked the day before...perhaps God was looking out for me, trying to stop me from getting too close before his car made its way off the highway one night. I still cry sometimes, and that was five years ago.
But going to the viewing last night, I waited in line for over two hours just to see the mother and daughter. The whole time I was looking around for the parents of my old friend, but it was with dread and a horrible pit in my stomach that I realized why I couldn't find the father standing there tall amongst the crowd...he died. Both he and his youngest daughter had been killed, yet I, in my small scope of reality, couldn't grasp the fact. It's so difficult to comprehend such a tragedy, and I think the whole community is still in shock. The church was packed, and the aisles were filled with people standing because the seats were all taken. The two who died were possibly some of the greatest and most generous people the world has ever known. And I can't think of a single person who has ever spoken ill of them.
This is my tribute to their memory, free of my insignificant complaints of my own life.