And so we change

I went to a funeral today.

A young man died way before his time.

One of the man’s brothers delivered the eulogy. At one point he looked at his sister-in-law, his brother’s widow, and said that he and his family would be there for her.

I glanced at the man next to me.

My brother-in-law.

It’s true. The day that his sister, my wife, died was not the end of our relationship.

He continues to be there for me.

We spent New Year’s Day at my sister-in-law’s house and Christmas at Kim’s parents’ house.

The support of my in-laws continues after the woman that linked us together is no more.

After the funeral, Tommy and I went to the church basement for the reception.

We sat at a table with two sisters who had known the dead man’s father.

”How do you know him?” one of the sisters asked.

”We lived three doors away,” Tommy said. “My sisters were friends with his wife and her sister.”

”Are your sisters here?”

”No,” Tommy explained. He told them one sister had come to the wake the day before and the other sister died in a car crash two years ago. He gestured at me and said, “this is her husband, Daniel.”

The sister who had asked the question turned to me and asked, “was today hard for you?”

Before I could answer, she told us that her partner had died and the service was difficult for her.

”Well,” I said, a bit uncomfortable with where I thought she was going.

”You know how weddings are different after you’re married?”

”It’s not that the wedding is about you – it’s that now you understand the import of the words being spoken and the promises being made.”

“The same thing is true after you’ve lost a loved one who is really close to you.”

”After that, the words at a funeral hit you differently. They hit you harder. It’s not that this funeral is about you and your loss – it’s that you understand the loss of the family and friends much more deeply than you did before.”

The sister pulled back from the table a bit.

She stopped and thought a minute.

Then she nodded and said, “exactly.” She nodded again and said, “that’s exactly how I felt.”

Published in: on January 3, 2019 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment