I think that today I went to half a funeral. Not that it was called that. I didn’t know how to dress. I don’t really know how to funeral. I misappropriate its part of speech, that is how little I understand it. I really wanted to wear my red dress, just because my friend who recently died was such a bright spot in so many of our lives. Seemed a fitting way to respect her and celebrate her life, and how lucky we all were to have known her.
Once the moment to actually put on the outfit arrived, I opted for neutral colors, just about like everyone else. Boring, like that. Neutral because this wasn’t about any of us or our grief, but about the life of our dear friend. I still wore my bright green coat and my mustard yellow scarf and bright pink hat, because fucked if I am going to be the kind of person who has a funeral appropriate coat. It’s annoying enough to have to choose funeral appropriate attire. I dunno why I for a moment suppose this even matters. Just a silly thought, like so many others that happen when dealing with the loss of a friend.
I am glad that instead of a funeral, this thing was called a memorial/ celebration of life. Sometimes, even though labels are fucking annoying, a certain different set of words attached to an event at least makes it more descriptive, and in this case, somewhat less mournful.
It was, as always, lovely to see so many wonderful people gathered in the same place at the same time, though the reason was one that all of us had been dreading for some time, I think. The eulogies written by both Renea and Dave were absolutely perfect. Dave’s hit me because I had similar experiences in friendship with Sherry. She was someone who encouraged me to write when I was afraid I had lost my voice and ability to be a writer. It was nonsense. I just needed to do it anyway. Duh. Thank you, Sherry.
Renea’s words hit me differently, and it was primarily the last adjective that she chose to describe Sherry which had me listening so intently. Even though I was sitting in the back row, it felt like in that moment, I was sitting way up close. The word she used was “present.” It was really the perfect word. I think very often we try to live in the present, but the past likes to be all “Boo! Remember me? Haunting, aren’t I?” And the future likes to make promises it cannot possibly fulfill. But to be inside the current moment, enjoying it just because being alive is a spectacular thing, and anything we can’t control can seriously just go fuck itself, that is something. And that was how Sherry was.
Along with a few other friends, I sneaked out of the church after Dave’s speech because whatever the preacher was going to say was not anything that was going to help me deal with my grief. I already heard what I needed to hear, thanks to Dave and Renea.
I wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of the day. Not sure how to live it presently, not sure I wanted to do anything other than sleep it away. Instead, I wrote down a lot of my thoughts, to try to help me get some of the sadness out of my head. I wrote so I could write some other words, for a few fictional pieces I needed to finish in order to complete NaNoWriMo, as today is the final day.
I just crossed that 50k word finish line, and it feels as shitty as I thought it would, without Sherry there as a cheerleader for our region. It feels kind of cheesy to me, like bad symbolism or something. I am not sure quite how to articulate it.
Maybe… Sherry’s mom came over to our group before the service and we all got up and hugged her, one by one. She said how lucky her daughter was to have so many friends. And I cheekily said that we were the lucky ones. And we were. And we are. As Lia said, so many of us are friends with each other because we were friends with Sherry first. I certainly have no shortage of people in my life simply because Sherry was in mine. And that’s something I can be thankful for in every present moment.