Feeling a bit melancholy this evening… inner reflection will do that to a person, I guess…

There are times in life when we see ourselves very clearly… whether we are ready for such a moment or not… this vision of ourselves strikes.  We see who we are… we see who we ought to be… and we see how very, very much time we’ve wasted in our journey from Point A to Point B.  Funerals are one such time… I know this isn’t universal and that what goes on in one’s head depends upon how close you were to the deceased.  I know at my father’s funeral my thoughts were occupied with such things as wondering how I was going to construct a world without him in it, worrying about my mother…wondering when I could just… get out of that room… so that it would be over…

So yeah… if you’re very close to the deceased, your thoughts are in that place.  If, on the other hand, you really didn’t know the person, your thoughts are probably trending towards lunch… but there is a place in-between those two extremes where your mind takes the time to confront the realities of life and death… and find yourself wanting.  It seems tremendously self-involved… spending so much time thinking about yourself during a funeral… certainly when you’re directing your thoughts, they are on the friends/family/mourners, but those thoughts do come…

I should probably point out at this time that I am rubbish when it comes to death.  I feel like I am supposed to say something to make everything okay for the other person, but let’s face it; there is no such word or phrase that can be uttered… and so my first instinct is to say nothing… very helpful, I know.

Recently, the mother of my closest friend passed away.  In the midst of everything that was going on, he sent me an email to let me know where he was and what was happening… and I failed utterly to respond… I waited for my wife to get home and asked her to email him back…

This is a man who, well… he may not be responsible for saving my life, but when I was doing my best to waste all my opportunities, took the time to put his own reputation on the line to buy me a chance at something better and is in many ways responsible for the life I’ve been able to lead…

…and I had my wife email him back… because I couldn’t find the words…

I did come to my senses about an hour later and hopped on the email myself…  I don’t call… This is not to be callous, but… well… when someone dies, people around you call… and call… and call…  I imagine this is comforting for most people, but I can’t stand it.  It’s too much, too soon.  I find myself just wanting to be left alone with my family… and then I reach out to them when it’s time.  So I generally won’t call… I’ll let them know I’m available… that I’m here, and I’ll let them call when they are ready… when they need to do it.  I think, in the end, that’s the only real message I can offer to anyone at such a time… I’m here if you need me.

So a funeral… reunions with old friends… more laughter than you’d expect… and self-reflection…

I do take my friends for granted… I’m not close enough with my brothers… I’m too fat… I don’t try hard enough… and oooh… there really is a Doctor Who marathon on… I’ve got to go…

I kid…

but these revelations seem so important… defining… as they come to you, but they are also so easy to put aside… to let slip away until the next time something happens and drags them to the forefront of your mind.  But… maybe this time will be different… maybe I will stay motivated and change those aspects of my life which need work… it’s hard to say, but it’s a hopeful thought.

I won’t come up with the answers tonight, but it’s as good a time as any to start looking… in the meantime, I’ve got this song running through my head…