Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The Only True Fact Of Our Lives
It was a rough day today. Well, it had been sort of a rough week of contemplating my Truth Seekers network, friendship, and turning a year older, but today put my mortality at the center.
Last week (Friday to be exact) a good friend of mine from grade school's mother passed away. Quite suddenly actually. She was having back problems, went and got medication from her doctor, and went to lie down. She had trouble breathing, then that was it.
Bret went to the viewing last night, and this morning we both went to the service, which was a full Catholic Mass. I said I would go without question, which Bret seemed a bit surprised by. But at that moment all I was thinking is we need to go and support Erin. 12 hours later, when I had time to dwell on it a bit, I started questioning my decision. The last time I was in a church, I had to leave because it really upset me and I was in tears. And I never went back since.
But I believe in signs. I've been struggling more with this whole God and church thing over the past year, and working to find my place in this world (ewww Michael W Smith is running through my head now), and so here we go. This is a most unfortunately way for me to have to be forced to face what I want to face, but we grow the most under unfortunate circumstances.
I woke up, did a little meditation, got ready, took the kids to school, and headed up to the church. Got there with almost 35 minutes to spare. I tried to message a friend on the phone, but then as Bret pulled up next to me I suddenly thought to myself, "This is not about me. Just remember the reason you are here."
There is something to be said for 13 years of emotional maturity. What was I thinking? Lightening would strike me down? The HUGE statue of Jesus hanging at the alter would suddenly start scolding me? That everyone would suddenly stop and point and throw stones? I would spontaneously combust?
LOL- I really have to get over this idea that I'm a vampire. ;-) Especially because I still am able to walk around in the daylight... albeit grudgingly.
So, we go in and sit down, and I first notice how cold the place is. But I've always known that Catholic churches are just not very welcoming places. So symbolic, so slated and marbled. And I wasn't kidding about the huge Jesus hanging at the alter.
The processional was when I felt the twang, at seeing Erin and her family come in, and the casket (I had never been to a funeral before). My heart certainly went out to her, as I do know the burdens she undertakes at being the oldest sibling, and now with 4 of her own children.
But that was really the only moment I felt connected to the service. Everything was part of the Mass, and in Latin to boot! It just seemed oddly ritualistic, and even those in attendance seemed to be just going through the motions. The only part that was in English was the sermon, which was really quite good. In a nutshell, last week he was talking to this woman, and now she's gone. We're all going to die, and it will be sudden, so why aren't we living our lives knowing this? Why are we denying this only true fact of our lives?
We spend each day trying to hide the fact we're going to die.
After the sermon, the Mass continued. Later Bret and I talked about how no one got up and spoke about Erin's mother. There was no real personal connection to any of it, and for both of us that seemed a little odd. It just didn't seem to be a good way to say goodbye overall.
Afterwards, while leaving, I went up just to pay my respects to Erin and her father. She looked genuinely happy, and even a little surprised to see me, and she hugged me tight. I didn't want to say I was sorry, I knew she heard that enough. So I told her I loved her, and left it at that. Let her get through her mourning... then maybe catch up in a few weeks.
Bret had to rush off to work, and I got in my car and started back towards the school, as I had a message that Allie wasn't feeling well. I had also received a message back on my phone from my friend, which I wasn't expecting one at all so that made me smile inside.
I passed by the church across from the kids school, and this time it didn't look quite so scary to me, and I smiled again.
I'm exactly on the path I should be on.
Mused by Dani at 9:49 PM