Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Facing Up to a Friend's Death

Bed at one, awake at six--it's not a good idea if I want to get stuff done, be able to think, or stay health.

But because I have so much dread for today that I just couldn't sleep much.

Today is Nancy Peterson's memorial service (first Baptist Church of Morehead) and I know I'm going to have to face up to something I've been avoiding for the last five days--the fact that Nancy's gone and she's not coming back.

Visitations, funerals, memorial services, and other kinds of death-related events are about many things. They're about warm memories, sharing one's grief with friends and acquaintances, helping the family, thinking about the many ways the deceased person made a difference, and the many ways they're going to live on as well.

But death-related events are also about accepting the fact that relatives, friends, loved ones, colleagues, and acquaintances are really gone. It's about accepting or beginning to accept that we're never going to hear their voice, feel the warmth of their physical presence, react to their touch or think about what they're going to be doing next year again. It's about really knowing the grief and loss even if it's the last thing in the world you want to do.

I don't want to face up to Nancy's death. It's hard and I'm miserable. But I know I have to start doing it today as I think about going to her memorial service.

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