01/08/2007 - 5:57 p.m.


Grief is not a one-time thing. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It's in the heavy sigh I give when I hear the song "Brown-eyed Girl," my brother-in-law's song for his daughter. It's in the sudden start I gave when I was going through some buttons and smelled my grandmother's box (which, of course, even now, 22 years later, smells a bit like an ashtray but then so did Nana.) And it's in the fight I had with FogieKnight last night before he suddenly got it, stopped fighting, and just said something along the lines of "you're not okay."

But it surprises me sometimes what gets me and what doesn't. Yesterday, I went to the visitation for the father of one of my mock trial team students. I found it very difficult. The hugs, the murmuring, the sweet and funny pictures felt all too familiar. I've been here before---again and again and again. I've been here for Rich, for Paul, for Claude. Too many men my age. Too many times in the past few years.

And so I expected the funeral today to be hard too. I won't say that it was a barrel of laughs. It wasn't, although it had a few funny and touching moments, mainly during the eulogy. But it was not as hard as I thought. For starters, it was a Catholic mass. The rituals were foreign although I've been through them before. Recently, I think I've been to more funerals of people who were not Jews than people who were. But this mass was so very Christian that I was not drawn in. It was lovely and I was glad it helped but somewhere along the line for me, the music and the words separated and it was as though I were meditating. I usually scan the hymns for verses I can sing but the choices were such that I just listened.
I was of the group and I was not.

But I'm very glad that FogieKnight postponed giving blood until last night. I don't necessarily need him home but I want him home. I want a hug. I want him close. I've been reminded how easy it would be to lose him and I want to appreciate him. I want to put it behind me.

Until next time---or until death sneaks up again.

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