Did I mention my husband’s business handled the funeral of our friend? Since the funeral home was only about 5 minutes from the house, it was no big deal for my husband to swing by and get me. Remembering the optimistic squirrel I witnessed just moments before, I chatted nervously in the car but sounded upbeat. My husband parked and we both entered the funeral home through the side chapel doors.
How many times had I paused at the open casket of someone’s loved one and said words out of respect? Hesitation this time. I purposely avoided the visitation on Thursday evening because I couldn’t deal with the thought of my friend in this new context of death. Now, it was Friday morning. I was so sure that the casket would have been closed by now but it was not. My husband passed and turned the corner. I slowed my stride, took a deep breath, and approached. Many mixed emotions. Satisfied that those who prepared her body had done a good job. Angry because whenever I needed to fuss at my husband about something, it would now be on my own. Happy that her beauty was still evident even after death. Sad that I would truly miss her.
Breathed deeply a second time and touched her hand. It was cold and suddenly my figurative “blurred vision” of the past couple of days snapped into focus. Still touching her hand:
Okay, sweetie. This is it. It was a joy to know you. I will miss you. I promise to take care of your friend [my husband]. Rest now.
I joined my husband in his office and talked until it was time to go to the church.