Thursday, January 17, 2008

Between this world and that one

Today a high school friend of mine was laid to rest. Even typing these words seems odd to me. Brain cancer. 40 years young. Two young daughters and a spouse I have never met.

We are too young to die. This girl and I. Not moments ago we were in the halls of our high school, setting in the lunch room, me cracking jokes and she pretending to be offended. Now she is but a memory. Her children a legacy of all that she was, and passed on to them. A friend who is lost to her spouse.

I thought about her today. 2pm. The time of the funeral. I haven't seen her since high school but we are a small community, and everyone knows everyone and their families as well. It is a small part of you, your past, your being that is being buried with her. We are connected in that respect.

I could not be there. Instead, I found myself at a business expo, with booths and polished professionals and freebies and drinks and ... people going on with life and commerce and superficialness. While 90 miles away a solemn service was being held. A life being honored. An opportunity for grieving and supporting.

Two worlds at the same moment. This world and that one.

And I was caught between them somehow, contemplating the strangeness of it all.
I remember riding in the big black funeral home suburban following the vehicle that was carrying my mother to her grave and watching all of the traffic and people at the convenience stores and kids in their yards with balls and bicycles and I wanted to scream at them "Don't you know that the world has stopped!!!"
But they couldn't hear my inner thoughts - as their world had not. Mine had.

Two worlds at the same moment. This world and that one.

and I think, and I remember, and I smile, as somehow my memory of her still lingers, bridging the divide - between this world, and that one.

5 comments:

Miz Melinda, Yo said...

Great piece. Sobering thought- 40 years young.

KJ said...

wow. powerful images. I had an odd experience like that several years ago...my step-mother's 20 year old nephew shot himself in a drunkin' high. The day of his funeral, I was watching the birth of my brother's 3rd daughter. The nephew's funeral service was happening at the exact same time. Life and death happening in one moment. My 3 hour drive home that day was wso strange...I was so moved by nieces' birth, and felt so sad for Ryan. "Two worlds at the same moment."

nonprofitprophet said...

sobering. yes. and overall just odd.
I suspect many people have this experience, whether they are aware of it or not.
KJ, such far ends of the spectrum. Life/Death simoultaneuosly existing.
My mothers funeral was on my daughters 4th birthday.
I was almost killed in a car accident coming back from my cousins funeral, who had died in a car accident.
Truth: Stranger than Fiction for sure.

MizAngie said...

I experienced such anger when I returned to work after my dad's death. Everyone was carrying on so normally, oblivious that MY world had turned upside down.

40. Whew. I remember when that was old. Now 70 doesn't even look very old. Weird how perspective changes.

nonprofitprophet said...

mizangine - i am watching the Green Bay / NY Giants game. My daughter says "wow, that QB looks old". Favre is 38. I give her "the look".... ~npp