Saturday, April 23, 2016
after the funeral
The funeral is now a thing of the past. So is a life. And the latter will continue to haunt me for a long long time still.
The ceremony was beautiful, absolutely dreadful and ungraspable at the same time. The things and people I dreaded most weren't in the end as bad as could have been. And I was so grateful and touched by all the old/current colleagues and friends who turned up. Of which I had only met a handful of them beforehand. Thank you all.
After the ceremony I joined the colleagues and friends' memorial instead of the relatives'. It was unpretentious and nice. And I loved hearing different stories about M, some very much who he had been with me, others not at all.
When I came home that afternoon it was like a heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders. But instead replaced by a new insight, a new kind of sorrow. Because as much as I treasured seeing the friends and colleagues paying their respect, I'm also well awared that the only one who is truly lonely now is me.
Everyone else who mourns will most likely see the funeral as a final closure and return home to their families and partners, they have their usual day to day business to attend to. I'm the only lonely one who is forced to create a completely new normal life. And I don't have a big family and relatives to lean on - I've never been interested in keeping in touch with cousins and second cousins, I'm not really a 'family person' like that - but I'm very grateful for my little mother (who's quite possible is the best little mum in the whole wide world). And the few selected friends I feel I can talk to for real.
I don't think it would have been an easier situation if we had lived 100% under the same roof, perhaps it's even a bit easier from a practical point of view that we didn't. I'm already well used to and comfortable with a lot of me-time and pottering on my own.
Which means I now have a lot of me-time with too many thoughts. All the questions that will never get proper answers are now being analysed back and forth by my own.
And why is it that cleaning and de-cluttering is such a comforting thing to do when all these thoughts get too much?
I was mostly too absorbed in my own feelings at the funeral, but one thing the officant said lingered on because it was such a beautiful notion;
With this funeral we close the door to a life, but we leave the window open to the memories.
Life isn't fair or predictable, but I truly believe that less work, less planning, less shopping but more time spent with loved ones, doing and experience things we truly enjoy would most likely benefit us all. Work hard and plan for an early retirement may seem like a prudent idea to some. But more living and enjoying life to its fullest now - and what that might be is of course individual - because tomorrow could actually be the last day on earth, that seems wiser to me.