Please go to funerals. Go to calling hours and wakes. Please go.
Perhaps you knew the person well, and it makes perfect sense for you to be there to remember with those who remember. If you loved that person, learned from them, or they impacted your life in any way, go.
Perhaps you never had the privilege to meet the person, but you know someone in the close family. Go.
The guest book from Robb's funeral is filled with people who knew him; people who know me, his parents, and mine; and people who never met him, but they came because they knew us, they knew our hearts were broken, and they wouldn't let us walk alone.
Perhaps you are a couple of degrees removed; a friend of someone who is grieving this deep loss of a friend. Go.
I have met many people in the last two years because they loved someone who loved my husband. I met them for the first time, and we are now forever sewn together.
Funerals and memorial services honor the people who are still living.
Go. Remember. Meet the person of their memories.
* * *
I learned today of the death of a friend.
Her son was my best friend in high school, and I might have married him if we hadn't each fallen in love with someone else. I spent many nights and weekends at their house, I 'toilet papered' their yard many times, and I've watched a million movies on their various couches. She mentored me in college, inviting me into her third grade classroom long before teaching practicums had begun. I itched to teach; she trusted me with her students.
She is gone, and today her family grieves her absence.
Were it not for 1200 miles, you can bet your bottom dollar I would be there.
I would go because I loved Joyce, and she taught me that a good mom doesn't have to cook every night, or even any night.
I would go because I loved Brian, and he will forever matter to me.
I would go because I loved their family and they influenced a season of my life. I would go because Stephanie lost her mom, Russ lost his wife, and so many grandchildren won't know her as so many of us did.
I would go.
Please go to funerals. Because somebody, somewhere, wishes she could be there.
All my love to you, Brian, Stephanie, and Russ. All my love and a million thank you's for sharing your special lady with me.