This morning I attended an incredibly sad funeral for the wife of a pretty close friend of mine.  It wasn’t an unexpected death, as she had been battling cancer for the last four years.  She had the opportunity to settle things in her life and with her family and friends.  She had the chance to say goodbye to her husband and 9 year old daughter before she fell into her unending sleep, a chance many who leave us never get.

Today was her funeral and now, slowly but surely, the recovery can begin.  Maybe not tonight, or next week, but sometime soon, everyone will finally take another breath, choke back their last tears for now, and begin to remember the good memories before the difficult times arrived.

I’m not very good with funerals and that’s no surprise to my family.  A eulogy is something of a complete emotional gushing, a necessary and very public way of saying good bye.  Today’s handful of eulogies certainly had almost all of the 300 people at the service on the verge of tears.  Who could blame nearly all of us for finally breaking when a 9 year old daughter without her mommy took the podium last.  Standing on an impromptu riser so she could reach the microphone, with a smile, she managed to say “I know my mommy loved me because she told me so in a letter she wrote to me before she died” before breaking into sudden, overwhelming tears.

The room thick with empathy, her father completed her thoughts for her with incredible fortitude.


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