The Funeral

When I was pre-med AND raising four kids, 
I went with my daughter one afternoon 
to the funeral of the father of one of her girlfriends.  
I didn't know the girl very well 
and I had never met either of her parents.  
I attended strictly out of sympathy for my daughter's friend.  

When I saw the girl, her brother, and her mother 
walking down the aisle of this chapel, 
I started to sob.  
(I have to add here that I almost never cry.) 
But I looked at the girl 
and I felt sorry for her,
 not overwhelmingly sorry, 
but a little sad, 
you know?  

I started sobbing more and more and more.  
It wasn't pretty.  
It was snorting sobbing, heaving in great gulping sobs.  

My daughter kept patting my hand 
and telling me
it was all right 
(and looking at me very strangly).  
I kept shrugging my shoulders 
because I didn't know why I was crying, 
but I kept on choking on sobs.  

When we left the chapel, 
we walked past this sort of reception line 
of relatives of the deceased.  
They all looked at me so strangly...
like I had been the guy's secret mistress or something.  
I was ***so*** embarrassed.  

I sobbed all the way home in my car.  
I thought I was losing it.  
When I got home, 
I called my friend who is a nurse practitioner.  
After hearing my insane story, 
she explained that 
I'd been so tightly wound with stress 
that at the first opportunity to let off a little steam, 
all the stress just poured out at once.  

I still shudder when I remember that.

by Dianne Yee, September 21, 2003
Grieving the Loss of the Dream