I spent my day attending the memorial service for my cousin. Technically she was my second cousin, and we grew up calling her aunt Vicky. Regardless of the details, today was the last time I will see her. Not only was it difficult to say goodbye to yet another family member, but it was torture to see so much pain packed into one place.
For me, all funerals are bad. The process of accepting what is lost does not come easy for most. I tend to hate change, so it comes very hard for me. I loathe the ache for what once was. I detest the longing for things remembered. Concentrated memories lie around every corner, and I hate them for reminding me of days gone by.
As I sat in the room today and looked around me, the one thing that kept coming to mind was how easy it is to let time pass. We get busy. We have families, jobs and lives to deal with. We mean to pick up the phone, send a message or plan a gathering, but we don't always get around to it. Then one day you get a call saying someone has passed..and you get to see everyone again. Bittersweet.
I realized how utterly foolish we have all been. To believe that life will go on, and we will all remain intact to see it, is nothing more than a dream. The truth is that time stands still for none of us. The days turn to weeks, and years go by and the next thing you know you are standing in a room, wondering where it all went, and wishing you had stopped to make that call or plan that visit.
I noticed faces that were missing today, parts of the whole that stood alone. I saw gaps mended and mistakes forgiven, but only in the shadow of loss. There were strangers in our family, not by intrusion, but instead by omission. We take so little time to connect that we don't even recognize those before us, those related to us.
I feel a sorrow that goes beyond the limit of my understanding. Where bonds should be formed and strengths united, there is only the remains of what used to be. I seek a change in the dynamic of what we are, a way to mend what has been broken and build what is still to come. I look toward a future that brings change, that unites and heals. I crave a family that stands powerful, just because we choose to be.