The last time I went to a funeral was several years ago. Before that one, I don't even remember the last one. I don't think I would even go to my own parents' funerals.
But when you are asked to be a pallbearer at the funeral of your brother-and-shipmate, how can you say no? So I went to a funeral today. Mostly I was as stone-faced as ever but I had to point my eyeballs up a little extra when somebody in the family of the deceased started bawling by the casket, and again during the military honors. If there had been a 21-gun salute I think I would have been Mr. Faucet Eyes already.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. We were all supposed to have basically endless, carefree lives in intimate association with God, in person, on a daily basis. Then a serpent had a conversation with Eve. Physical death is hateful to me. ESPECIALLY the death of somebody I care about, and ESPECIALLY a brother-in-arms. It doesn't matter if he was 87 years old and barely kept one step ahead of the grim reaper for the last decade. He wasn't supposed to die.
Well, he didn't really, but his widow from a 65-year marriage is probably going to miss him until they meet again. It seems like it would be cold comfort, the first time you would go back to a bed that would always be empty when you left it. Over coffee the next morning, it seems like it would be very comforting to know that your loved one is in a better place.
Still. Standing at attention and staring down into a hole lined with landscaping timbers during prayers, and seeing an old lady's eyes all watery . . . sucks.