Bitter Kindness

I spent most of Saturday at a funeral.

You know how funerals go. They come at inconvenient times and disrupt everything. You can’t plan for them. You can’t control where they are held. You don’t know what you are stepping into when you decide to attend.

But you go. You go for the living, when you never knew the dead.

You go to give that one hug in the seven hours that you are away from home and all that could be getting done. You go to be there. To say I’m here and will remember and will be there next week and the one after that and next month and when you don’t want to get up from that heap on the floor when the holidays come and the one you love is not there.

You go.

I went.

At the end of the longest week in a classroom full of precious students, I finally had time to process the tragedy that a sweet friend was enduring as she said an unexpected goodbye to her brother on the same morning I was saying hello to my students.

You are never ready.

Saturday morning, my first day off after returning to work full-time, I was in a minivan with friends on our way over the mountain to a funeral.

We talked. And laughed. And cried. And spent time. And got lost. And then found. And hugged our friend. And cried again. And ate lunch. And shopped at Trader Joe’s. And I slept in the car on the way home.

And it was bitter. And it was kind. And it was a gift of grace to be with friends in a special, though painful, unexpected way at the end of a long week.





3 thoughts on “Bitter Kindness

  1. Elizabeth

    Thank you. For being there, and because I know you will be there. Thank you for coming, for giving up your plans to give me your presence. Having “my people” there means a lot.


Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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