The week before Joe (my sisters’ step father) died a friend of mine died that I had renewed friendship with after three decades. I missed that funeral as I found out about it the day of the thing. I wrote a nice little essay to put in the (online memory book) memorial. I posted about David here:
While I was on my way to Florida for Joe’s funeral, I got an email from David’s Mother thanking me for the words I wrote. That was really nice. I just wrote of the last time we were together and what I felt. Her note really means a lot to me.
This is the thing with me though, I generally write about what I feel. No whitewash. No varnish. What is, IS with me. I also try to ACT the same way in life...
Then a few days later at the little get together at Joe’s house after his funeral, *What is it about Death that seems to make people hungry AND horny?* I was side swiped by one of David’s sisters. She said that, “What you wrote for David was the best thing in the whole book and that you had the entire family in tears just thinking about that. David was exactly like that. You were the only one that wrote anything like that. We just want you to know how much we appreciate the thought that went into it. I think my mom is in love with you now. She’d probably adopt you if she could”
I told her the same thing I wrote to her mom, Mrs. H., “Honey...I just wrote what I felt. I could do no other. I could not just put a generic condolences statement in there, because I’m just not built like that.” By this time we were both tearing up and she gave me a hug and wandered off into the crowd before we both got too upset.
This is what is best in life. To make others feel better, during what is obviously one of the most heartrending moments in their lives. This is empathy. Both a blessing and a curse...