We all grieve differently.
I have a great friend who attends seemingly everyone’s funeral even if he just knows a relative of the diseased.
That causes me to kiddingly relate that I think he just goes for the buffet.
The first funeral I can remember was my Dad’s.
He died unexpectedly in 1966 when he was 46 years old and the military rushed me home in time to ride up an elevator at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane that he never returned on, succumbing in the operating room of a blood clot during routine surgery.
He was 46 and I always thought because of his early demise I might meet that same fate. Obviously I have his brother’s genes since they grew into their mid-80s.
But I think his funeral shaped my last rite feelings forever.
The night before funeral mass was a blur and while I remember it was heavily attended I can tell you little about what went on.
I do remember wondering why services were conducted at a Catholic Church whenever either of my parents were of such faith but since they had me baptized in first grade I really didn’t give it much further thought.
But in the hearse on the way to the graveyard I do remember having to stop the hearse and vomit, right out of nowhere.
I remember one of the pallbearers, who was my Godfather, says “Well what do you expect, he just lost his Dad. Indeed!
How those words still salivate some 51 years later.
But the memory of the day’s remainder has completely faded.
I am now at the point of my life where I could attend five funerals a week but I might opt for one a month.
It isn’t that I won’t miss the person, it’s just that I’d rather remember quality time spent.
The same rings true for end-of-life scenarios.
My good friend Chris Walterskirschen died recently and while I reached out a few times on the phone, he never took my call. I took that as a cue that “Sparky” as we all called him also cherished long winter-type road trips to and from a game.
Or maybe it was five minute updates that turned in to two hours of bull.
I didn’t send you off my friend but I hope you realize I’ll always cherish our lives adjoined and know you understand we’ll scamper again before you know it.