I still have a hard time at funerals. Even when they're for those I barely know.
Like this weekend, for example. We went to a funereal for Julie's grandmother.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've talked to her.
For many years her mind has been gone. She doesn't know who you are, what day it is, or even where she is. One time she looked out the window and said it was the most beautiful November morning she had ever seen. She said this on a July afternoon.
So this last week I kept hinting to Julie that I didn't want to go. I told myself it was because I didn't know this woman that well and my time could be better spent watching the kids so she could enjoy the funeral and say goodbye to her grandmother.
But Saturday came and to the funeral we went. And I we were driving to the funeral I felt myself tearing up. I turned on the radio and listened to sports announcers analyze the upcoming Broncos Steelers game hoping to distract myself.
It didn't work.
I still had to fight back the tears.
So I flipped over to the FM band and tried to find some music that everyone would like. Thought the act of flipping through stations would distract me.
That didn't work either.
Tried talking to Julie about anything other than the funeral. Anything to take my mind of what was coming up.
Even that didn't work
And by the time we arrived at the church, it was taking all my concentration just to keep myself together.
And then once we walked in the door of the church, I lost it.
Needless to say, you don't really stand out when you're crying at a funeral. Aside from Julie's immediate family, I didn't know anyone there so most people just assumed I as crying for the deceased.
I guess I was, in a way.
Just not for the person everyone came to see.
Finally, just as the service started I was able to pull myself together and make sure Aidan behaved during the funeral. As I listened to people talk about this woman, I realized how little I knew about her. I didn't know she worked for an intelligence unit in World War II or that she was such a good teacher. It was a beautiful service and a fitting tribute to a remarkable woman.
And in the end I was glad I went.
Because life isn't about taking the easy way out. Often it's about taking on the difficult task or enduring the unbearable moment and coming through the whole situation a little bit stronger, and more grateful for what you do have.
I have no doubt there as the years pass there will be more funerals I'll need to attend.
And when it comes time for one of them, I'll be there.
No matter how difficult it might be.