Yesterday I attended the funeral of an old school friend. She wasn’t by any means a close friend, I hadn’t spoken to her in years. She was more of a friend of friends. I went to show solidarity to her family, my friends and out of respect. Respect that one of our year from school had lost her life.
I wasn’t going to go, I kept alternating between, ‘yes, ok-I’ll go,’ to ‘no, definitely not, I’m not doing it.’ In the end I felt compelled to just be in the crowd. To recognise the fact that a young woman, a wife, mother, sister and daughter had lost her battle to survive.
As I stood at the back of a tightly packed sea of black, my autism flavoured emotions ran amok. I became aware that my face was wet. I’m standing there in silence with ten million thoughts running through my brain. Life is ridiculously precious. That could have been any of us up the front there. Having their best moments held up for all to see. I knew then that my salty cheeks represented so much more, than the loss of a fellow class of ’92 member . These thoughts almost knocked me off my feet. I’m a fainter, I also absorb other people’s emotions. Here I was, stood up to my neck in the sadness of a packed room of mourners. Fight or flight? I feel hot and cold and wonder if I might pass out. Please no! So I gather my thoughts and focus on my breathing. Soon it is over and we step out into the cold March air.
Now I am thoughtful, thoughtful and ridiculously teary. I knew this would happen. Funerals and I mean ALL funerals, even of people I didn’t know, literally pull the rug from under my feet. My worry mode is activated and it doesn’t turn off in a hurry. I attempt to literally drown my worries in booze. I get to thinking how, in the blink of an eye we can become a memory. A prominently placed photo in a special frame, or the reason your family seek out psychics or mediums. I don’t want to be a memory. I want to be real. I want to live to meet my children’s children. I want to experience being confused by the younger generation and to not know when I’m about to fart! I want to have the luxury of grey hair and creaking bones. I want to go when the time is right.
My writing, as always is influenced by my daily adventures of being a fuzz ball. This experience- like many before has reinforced my opinion that we should love and respect our lives. We should look after our bodies and cherish our health. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. Tell your people you love them, forgive the meaningless disagreements, feel everything. Everything!
Life is short, shorter for some than others. While death has no chance of breaking the bonds of love, it can leave behind a person shaped hole. I don’t know much, but I am sure that those that get taken too early, go on ahead to get things ready for the rest of us. We all meet up again eventually and the cycle of love, life and laughter continues.
Hug the shit out of your family and be thankful that your heart still beats.