Yesterday, a pregnant friend and I drove to and from Pleasanton, CA in the Bay Area to attend the funeral of one of our dear friend’s husbands. Let me just say that going to funerals while hopped up on pregnancy hormones is NOT a good combination. But it was nice to do the drive with a woman in my same condition, as there was absolutely no question that frequent pee breaks were a necessity.
This was the second funeral I have attended while pregnant (the last time being my grandmother’s when I was pregnant with Little Miss), and both times, I was a weeping mess. I probably cried more than was appropriate (if there is such thing) because I couldn’t stop thinking about how my friend felt, what her life would be like moving forward, what it would be like if I lost my husband, etc.
Rod was a wonderful man, and he treated my friend, Susan, like a queen. He was one of the most fun loving people I’ve ever met, and he had a way of making everyone feel like a long lost friend. The service for Rod was amazing. There were hundreds of people there, and many people got up and shared their favorite memories of Rod. It broke my heart to hear Susan read a letter she wrote to her husband. She was poetic, composed, and the picture of grace. I am amazed at her courage and the way she handled herself, when all I could imagine I’d want to do in her situation is crawl up into a ball and cry.
The whole experience has spoken to me, as Rod died suddenly from a massive heart attack, when everyone thought he was in perfect health. I think it has helped me to realize how fragile life really is, and to tell the people I love how I feel about them regularly, to show my affections, and to truly cherish every moment. Since receiving the news, I’m holding my family a bit closer, and have been trying to let go of the minor annoyances and to concentrate on the fact that I’m so glad my husband is alive, that we have a happy, healthy daughter as well, and that I can relish in the regular movements of my son inside of me.
I’ve shed a lot of tears over this. I’m not sure if it’s the hormones, or just my personality, but I truly feel my friend’s pain right now, and am mourning for her. It’s also hard, because she is not in Reno, and I can’t reach out to her as much as I want to right now.
So, to all of you, I hope that you will stop to appreciate the blessings in your life, and to truly show how much you love your friends and family. Meanwhile, I’m praying for Susan, that God can heal her from this life shattering situation.
They read a quote from Emerson at the funeral that spoke to me, so I’ll share it with all of you as well:
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.