I am not sure how old I was when I loat my first friend. I know I was fairly young and the idea of death wasn’t really big. I knew people died but it didn’t really mean much. Death was final and yet not final at the same time. This may have been because I went to my first funeral when I was around two years old.
I remember the casket clearly. Or as clear as a possible two year old can. It was white…maybe pink. So very very tiny. It held the body of a young girl who had died in her sleep. She seemed big to me though I have been told that the girl was around my age.
Her casket was tiny but she appeared so big.
I remember dancing and playing in the aisles as people cried. There was so much crying going on. I didn’t know this girl…it wasn’t until I was older that I realized I never would.
As I aged I went to a lot of funerals. Never again a child and nearly always males. The female line of my family tends to live forever it seems. I only have one grandfather who is still alive. I have lost many uncles and great uncles and great great uncles. And make cousins…yes…I have lost plenty of those as well.
That tiny casket with the not so tiny girl. She has always stuck in my mind.
I am not sure if I was related to her. My mother doesn’t like to talk about her much since she was born the same year as my older sister. I think maybe even just hours apart and at the same hospital. I think it makes my mom feel guilty that her child lived while the other ladies child did not.
I am not sure though. I have only met the mother once. I remember the hungry look in her eyes every time she glanced at my sister.
As a kid I figred she was some creepy lady. As in adult I understand. I understand her looks and shaking hands as she patted my sisters face. I understand why she ignored me. I understand why her and my mother walked on egg shells when they spoke. I understand it all to well.
See while I have never lost a child I lost a friend at a very young age. I have lost siblings. I have seen friends cry after they spoke of the children they had lost.
I have seen blushing brides with a baby bump turn to tear stained widows with scars.
I have seen it all and more.
So, while I have never lost a child, I can still grieve with them. I can hold them close and understand. Maybe not fully but enough to be there when needed