Funerals, Young Lives, and Tragedy…

It’s kind of a random thing, but 16 years ago today, one of my classmates died. Yup, a long time ago to be sure, but some things, like young death, stick with you for a very long time. It doesnt help that he was one of the only kids in my class that was nice to me no matter what, I felt completely abandoned and crushed when he died. It took a long time to get over, and for years, this date made me depressed, made me cry, upset me beyond belief.

Several times in my life, I’ve had to attend funerals of people who died too young. The above being one of them, another, a high schooler/family friend who drove drunk and wrecked his car. No one was ever the same after that. Neither of his siblings ever seemed ‘alright’ after that. They made poor choices and struggled to get on with their lives. Some idiots decided to drink to his memory, one pastor wrote into the paper encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the ills of underage drinking. For most people, it didn’t change a thing. He visited me one night in a dream, he told me he was alright, I wish those other people could have gotten that dream, maybe their lives would have been different. Then I had a cousin who had kids my age (big family with a 2o year age gap in the generation previous) who died of breast cancer that metastasized to her ribs and lungs. She died around 40 or so. Another one had an allergic reaction of some kind, and they didn’t watch her in the hospital and she aspirated on her own vomit. She had been at a church retreat. She was in her 30s and had never found the right guy. To be blunt, I was used, very used to younger deaths, they were tragic, people cried and said how unfair it was. There was always a significant amount of wailing and plenty of people had to be excused from the funerals to gather themselves.

When I went to funerals of some older relatives lately, well let’s just say the mood was different. Yes, the closer family members who were around all the time and provided care were very upset, but it was a different kind of mood. No one wailed at how unfair it was, no one had to be taken out to gather themselves, the sense of injustice and why why why wasn’t present.

Sorry to be so down today, it’s just that it occurred to me how few ‘justified deaths’ I’ve witnessed, and how many, too young, too tragic funerals I’ve had to attend.

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