Thursday, August 23, 2012
I haven't been to a funeral of any sort for 30 years. I was ten when my grandmother died, and apparently the sight of my deceased grandma in her casket was too much for me and my sister. I remember the hysterical confusion and the torrential tears. We never attended another one. My mother decided that it was better to remember loved ones as they were when they were alive, not as the husk that held their essence.
I used to believe in that wholeheartedly, even while I watched my mother simmer in pain and anger years after she lost her brother and refused to go to his service. She claimed no regrets for that decision.
So I'm glad I went for a friend. We all gathered our resources. We brought flowers, candles, and a ton of food. Gary's buddy, Reverend Lee Thompson presided over the service, obviously having a great deal of experience comforting a gathering of grieving people. We sat under a grove of trees in a public park and traded stories about Gary. I wasn't surprised to hear others speak of his sweetness and innocence--his love of Deep Purple and animals.
I was able to tell others of what Gary was like at Nait. Sherri spoke of bonding with Gary over obscure albums. Little Andreas broke our hearts when he said "I'm going to miss him." before bursting into tears. His former paranormal group was there too.
We celebrated his life and laughed until dark. We wished he was there to enjoy the Timbits and joked about his incredible capacity to eat. I hope Gary, where ever he is, saw how much he was loved and the profound impact he had on our lives.
And I can get on with my life and stop obsessing over death. With all the good memories flooding back, I feel like I can capture his goodness in the character I promised...Rest assured, I'll include his favorite 'Fart App'.
Side Note: Today the world lost Mrs. Kory Haynes of Fox Creek, Alberta to terminal illness. My heart and my sympathies go out to my friend Sharie Haynes-McGinty and her family. Been a summer of loss it seems.