Today, I attended the funeral of my best friend’s father.
He passed away on Friday. He went into the hospital for something routine, and then three weeks later, he was gone.
I was on the phone with her for about an hour on Saturday morning. We cried and I listened. I consoled her the best I could. I just hate that this happened. It’s so incredibly sad.
I went to his viewing on Monday evening. The funeral parlor had a photo slideshow playing. I walked in, saw my friend and her husband. I hugged them and then moved on to hug her two brothers before making my way to hug her mom. I then turned toward the casket. As Jews, we don’t do things this way, so I wasn’t sure what to do exactly. I walked over to see him and pay my respects; he looked at peace and like he was sleeping. I stayed for about an hour, and then headed home.
I called my mom as soon as I got in the car. I cried on the phone, but I don’t think she knew. My friend’s dad was 60. That’s so young. I thought about my parents. They’re 67 and 64. I almost lost my dad a few years ago when he needed to have a triple bypass, developed pneumonia while recovering from surgery, almost coded, and spent most of his hospital stay in ICU. I only know my life with both of my parents in it. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing one of them. I thought of the things my friend’s dad will be missing, and couldn’t imagine my children growing up without their grandparents.
My mom’s dad passed away in 1983; I was 2 1/2. My dad’s dad passed away in 1992; I was 11. My mom’s mom passed away in 2004; I was 24. My dad’s mom passed away in 2009; I was 29. My husband’s dad passed away in 1998; I met my husband in 2002.
I sat in the church today and cried. I cried for his wife. I cried for my friend and her brothers. I cried for my friend’s son who lost his best friend. I cried thinking about losing my own parents.
My mom came with me to the church. At some point before the mass began, while fighting back tears, I asked her if she and my dad had any arrangements made. She said no. I suggested that they might want to look into that. She agreed.
It was a beautiful service and the room was full. While it was a celebration of his life, the fact remained the same. I mourn the loss of a man I met when I was 16. He was just at my son’s Bar Mitzvah in January. They say that everything happens for a reason. When someone goes too young, it’s hard to reconcile what the reason actually is.