Last night, for the second time in way too short an interval, I attended a memorial service for a friend.
I was quite impressed with some of the other people who were there. I shouldn't have been surprised to see people in the flesh whom I'd only ever seen pictures of -- or their names on the ballot, but I was.
I saw some dear people, whom I never see enough of. And I think they heard the unspoken "... but blast the circumstances" when I told them it was good to see them.
And I reacquainted myself with several folks I've not seen in, well, decades. One, a relative of the person whose life we were celebrating, came over to introduce himself to yet another of the unknown people there, and (once he gave his name -- I didn't recognize him either) was greeted with "I've not seen you in about 20 years!".
Another, it turns out had seen me a few weeks before, but I'd been in task mode, and I'd not recognized him (I'm terrible
with faces) and he's not sure he greeted me anyhow... but hopefully I'll recognize him if we end up in the same place again.
Another one, it turns out will be, with her husband, opening a restaurant (excuse me, it's NOT a restaurant, it's a sports bar) within 2 miles of my house. She says they make great wings -- and that is one of my weaknesses. When I asked the "how about smoking?" question, she said they were considering having a non-smoking night. Just like, although I'm usually too cheap to buy alcohol in a bar, I will get a drink in a non-smoking bar just to support the concept, I think I'll have to frequent them on those non-smoking days.
I try to celebrate the people. While they're in my heart they're never truly gone, but I still can't help but mourn. I also can't help but be the "tough guy" in most circumstances, so when I'm quiet, when I'm alone, I'm likely to find myself thinking, and find my eyes (and soon my shirt-sleeves) moist. And this will likely go on for months. Would it be better/easier if I just lost it and bawled loudly for an afternoon? I doubt it. Perhaps I'd have no more tears, but I expect I'd still need my quiet time.