Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Glad They Are There

This weekend I had a close encounter with a profession that no one ever wants to deal with, but when you have to, you're glad they're there: funeral directors.

I don't know if they're all this way, but these gentlemen were fantastic. They were dignified, respectful, and very careful of everything the did and said. At no time did I detect even a hint of insincerity.

Yes, you're putting your departed loved one in these gentlemen's hands, but even moreso you are putting your family in their hands. They recognize that they're not really in the burial business, but rather in the peace business. It's an amazingly noble calling to be willing to wade into the midst of grief and loss and help everyone involved begin their healing process. I could never do it. I don't care enough about other people. And I'd never be able to keep my mouth in check.

I'm also reminded of just how wonderful a family I have. Everyone has stepped up and come together. I won't say "effortlessly" because I'm sure beneath the surface each of us is dealing with emotions and thoughts we'd never want others to see. But each of us, in our own way, is doing what we can. It's not surprising, really. Just comforting, like reaching for the bedroom doorknob in the dark only to find it precisely where you expected it to be.

My father died this weekend, perhaps even while I was in the room. This is one of those significant life events that is held up in literature and movies as a defining moment, a transcendant moment, a grand Truth of life.

How do I feel? I feel nothing--certainly nothing defining, transcendant, or Truth-ful. Is it because I am incapable of feeling? Am I just not connected enough to reality? Is this something simply too immense and powerful to even register without overloading? Or do I on some visceral level simply understand that everything is exactly as it should be?

I can't answer that. Perhaps I never will. Perhaps there is no need.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Thom, I'm sorry to hear about your father's passing. I also understand the feeling of nothing that can come with death; it's certainly how I felt once I was over the shock of my grandfather's passing.

My thoughts are with you and your family.