Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Quotes from the Blue Man ...

I went to a funeral today for a choir member. Shortly after sitting down, I wanted to bolt out of there. It was the first funeral, in a church, that I had been to since dad. It is hard to say goodbye to people even if you didn't really know them. It is still hard to believe that dad is gone. While sitting there, I remembered the words of the Blue Man from the book 5 people you meet in heaven. He said
"my funeral. Look a the mourners. Some did not even know me well, yet they came. Why? Did you ever wonder why? Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should?
It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. ... We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole. It is why we are drawn to babies .. and to funerals."

That is why I stayed at the funeral. There is a recognition of the story of the life lived. The loss of yet another beautiful soul We are all affected by what is and what is not. I have learned in my work to deal with grief related to death, grief related to losses of life -- jobs, independence, dreams... The irony is that the closer you are the person who dies, the harder it is for you when you grieve. Despite the fact that it has been little over a year, and I knew my father was very sick, and I know he is not suffering and not in pain anymore, it is still hard to fully accept that he is gone. I don't have the momentary lapses of forgetting and start to phone him, as I have heard patients/clients tell me that they have done... but I lament the loss of future things. On the day of my ordination in October, it was barely 6 months since his death. I remember that I was nervous and I cried so much that my mother had to give me gravol to calm down. I remember I started crying in the shower and I thought of all the day, one of my dreams coming true. And I remember that I cried as I did at his funeral, because I knew that my father would not be at my ordination, he would not be at my wedding, he would never know my children, he would never see that I accomplished good things.. he would never see ...

And I still don't know who will walk me down the aisle at my wedding. My mother wants to, I have thought it would be nice to have my nieces do it, but they are young, I have asked if my sister's husband will do it. But I still don't know. We are embarrassed by our parents when we are younger, and we say I hope I never have to go through... whatever it is, but I would give anything for my father to be here on my wedding day. And he will be there.. but it's not the same.

Today's funeral was funny. I didn't realize that the man was so humorous. It is a twisted sense but good. We laughed so hard at the many things this man did, the joy that he brought to the world. And I remembered my father's funeral and what we said about him. And I thought about the things that were said about this man. I go to funerals for people that I may not know very well, and I cry. I cry at the story that has been lost to the world. And I also wonder .. how will the world remember me? What things will they say? There are some funerals you go to where there is not much that can be said. The person lived a troubled life, not that we are glad that they are gone, but they didn't seem to make a dynamic contribution to our society.... and there are others that contributed immensely in ways too deep to describe, in all things of their lives... Finances, professionally, and personally.

In the end, I wonder. How will the world remember me? What things will they say? It is challenging to the life that we hope to live today.

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