A couple of weeks ago I attended a funeral. As odd as it may sound, it was a beautiful event. Lots of people milling about, many laughing and telling stories about the deceased. Some eating food that had been prepared by friends or family for those in mourning. Others drinking coffee and telling their own stories of trips taken or planned.
Huge bouquets of flowers covered the side walls near the casket. Carnations, roses, birds of paradise, and plants too numerous to name. Occasionally, people would walk up to the casket and place a picture or some odd piece of memorabilia in a small sliding drawer that lay hidden near the bottom lid of the coffin.
The deceased had been beautifully prepared. Well, as beautiful as the dead can be I suppose. She wore a dark blue dress with an over jacket, hands crossed over her stomach, a rosary intertwined between the fingers of her right hand. Her long eyelashes carried the slightest hint of mascara. Her cheeks ever so gently blushed, giving way to the lie that this ceremony was simply sanctioned for sleep.
While the young woman lay in repose, a video of her played in the background. Soft, tranquil music orchestrated a collage of old and new pictures taken with friends and family. Some I knew. Some I didn’t. Just like the folks who attended the wake.
Hell, half of the time I didn’t know who I was. Not there. Not at that time.
For the deceased was one of my daughters. The second one I’ve lost in three short years, along with a three-year-old granddaughter.
To all those who came to pay their respects, I offer my heartfelt gratitude. To those who sent cards and flowers, I offer my sincere appreciation. To those who called or wrote to offer their condolences, I offer my utmost respect.
To life, however, I offer my two middle fingers as flags of surrender. Enough is enough already, dude.