Last weekend a 16 year old girl and her 10 year old brother run a stop sign and get broadsided by a school bus. Then carom off it and get hit by a truck. Jaws of life, life flight and sirens. The girl lives, the boy dies on the scene. I saw the car before they put it away. I've never seen a car that bad before. Literally, the only thing still salvagable on it appeared to be the front license plate.
The funeral was today. They attend our church. I never knew them. Hardly anyone knew them. They'd only attended since Easter and they are one of the ones that unfortunately got lost in the cracks somehow. They aren't lost anymore, but that's another blog for another day.
I watched as the small gymnasium of the small town school filled with hundreds of people. People grieved in many ways. Weeping - misty eyes - clearing throats to choke back tears - holding loved ones and children. I hate sitting through weddings, they are boring and too cerimonial. I hate funerals even more. The worst was when people share - kind of open mic night for the grieving. It ended with the sister who drove the car explain "I looked over at him, he smiled at me. I saw he had his seatbelt on. I pulled forward and that was the last time I ever saw him."
Their are lots of articles on grieving. 4 steps this, 2 styles that, blah blah blah. Bottom line is that while with other emotions, you can cheat them and substitute with other emotions, you can't substitute grief and not emotionally survive. I mean, you can substitute nervousness with laughter - or anger with physical activity, but you can't substitute anything with grief. If you do it's like acid that eats your insides out.
I'll admit it. I'm a cheater. I like to cheat. I cheat my emotions all the time, but you can't cheat grief. I watched hundreds of people today wishing they could, but none could. Maybe I'll find my crib notes or answers to the exam in time for my turn to grieve when a loved one of mine dies... but probably not.
-sorry this got so heavy... more jokes tomorrow - I promise.