Instead of studying I went to a funeral. Instead of spending time with my kids and husband before he went to work. Instead of sleeping, eating, talking on the phone. Instead of watching the sun set. Instead of listening to the busy crazy squirrels do whatever last minute fall business they have to attend to. Instead of loading the dishwasher. Instead of mopping the floor. Instead of cruising the net looking for gossip and seeing what my friends are up to. Instead of making my bed. Instead of grocery shopping. Instead of cooking. Instead of straightening up my house.
I can do those things later because I am not dead.
Sitting in the pretty old church, waves of Our Fathers and Amens pelting me softly I again feel that peculiar feeling well up inside of me. That feeling of fullness and emptiness and wonder. I know it happens every second. Every moment someone dies. Just as someone is born. Listening to Mark’s 13 year old daughter sing Amazing Grace solo in front of about 150 people was one of the bravest things I have ever heard. Loud clear and lovely. His cousins whom he treated like sons, their newly mannish voices quivering with sadness and loss and unashamed of the love they felt for their Mark. A boss, a father in law spoke of his fine intelligence, fierce admiration for his skill at family and a deep appreciation, almost awe for his work ethic.
Mark died on the 13th and that happens to be the day my best friend in Swampscott gave birth to her boy, Ned. Did they pass each other on their way to where ever you come and go from? Were wise words exchanged and wisdom imparted? Was wonder and newness found in appreciation? Do the born notice the dead as each slips into and out of sight?
All those amens and hallelujahs did not comfort me. I felt them bounce off of me and I found no comfort hearing that Jesus is loving. That god is merciful. That there is a plan. A collection all under god. I did not recite the prayer as it was spoken inside the church but I wished him well. I wished his family peace in remembrance of his love.
I did all this instead of the other things I had to do today because I could. Because I am not dead.