Really I do.It’s depressing to sit with a large group of sad people around the body of someone who will never be a living part of our existence anymore. Mostly what I hate about funerals is that we only have them when someone we know has died, which really is about as bad as it gets.
I won’t be at the actual funeral, but I’ll be going to a viewing tomorrow for a friend who passed away last Friday morning. I worked with him for several years and he was always fun to have around, but now’s he’s dead, of cancer, at 34. This is the second person within my circle of friends who has died of cancer this year, and both were younger than 40. This fact hits pretty close to home, because it’s not the parents, grandparents, aunts, or elderly relatives of friends who are dying, it’s my generation of people. And it’s not just one statistically-improbably-young person anymore. It brings Death a lot closer to home than it was even when my mother passed away, because she was older. She was still too young for cancer, but the argument could be made that she’d lived. Having Death stalking people my age is in many ways harder to deal with than having Death stalking people in my immediate family because the little thing in the back of your head that’s always been telling you, “Relax, you’re fine, you’re too young to worry about cancer and dying.” is now sitting there going “um… well… er… shit.”
34… he was younger than me, and had been fighting for 2 years, even.
When my other friend passed away earlier this year, the atmosphere was different. He had no wife or children, so all we mourners had was mostly good memories of more carefree times. We had a wake for him, we traded stories, we caught up, and we celebrated his life. The only legacy he left behind was the good memories in our minds. With this most recent death, that will be harder because he’s leaving behind a wife and two very young children. I remember the good times, I always will, but I’ll always think how shitty it is that these kids are going to be deprived of one seriously good dad. His death becomes sad for more reasons than simply the bitter fact of his absence.
Still, I’m glad to have known him. I can cling to that.