Mourning Club

November 7, 2016
My friends father died after a long battle with cancer and his funeral was today. It was a Monday, at 11am, and myself and 2 other of his friends were there. We sat together and at one point I realized why the three of us, out of all the other friends he had, were the ones who made it a point to be there. We had all lost close family members. One lost his father. Another lost her mother. And I lost my sister. It felt like a little club that you don’t want to join, but once you do you realize how to truly be there for the newcomers. I was glad I made it. 

I brought my son, since I had no other real choice. He missed his last swimming lesson because of it, but he wasn’t going to pass anyway because of the lessons he missed with his broken arm. I called two people the night before and asked if they could take him, but it didn’t work out. He starts a new swim class next week anyway. He was more well behaved than I could have even dreamed of. It was a Roman Catholic service, and lasted over an hour and a half. He sat quietly and relatively still the entire time. One woman behind us gave him a dollar for being so well behaved. Afterwards a few women commented on how good he was. My friends both told him they were proud of him. I was so proud of him. Halfway through I whispered to him that I was proud of him for behaving so well, and his smile brought warmth to my heart. 
He’s so balanced. He can do that, and then he can also act like a regular 5 year old. Right now he’s standing on his chair, with slime on his socks singing “lalala I have fancy shoes!!”. 


Being at the service was difficult for me. My thoughts and feeling in religion are fairly aggressive and angry as of late. The whole premise just seems so ridiculous, and I can hardly differentiate between organized religion and cults. The rituals, the priests clothing (5 of them), the stories of Jesus; it all seems so obnoxious. My friends father died last week, yet here we’re being told to mourn the death of someone who died over 2000 years ago, but then went to nirvana. Sorry, but why should that elicit sadness in the first place? There’s too many cracks in the storyline. 

But why does it all seems to matter to me now? What is the need to ask myself the hard questions? It’s been almost 2 years since this illness started. I no longer feel close to death anymore, even on my worst days I know I’ll wake up in the morning. Is it just part of the quest to redefine who I am now? At my councelling session this week we touched on the fact that I need to accept who I am, and who I am is not necessarily my likes, activities or career. For some that may seem obvious, but for me my entire life was built around nature and now I can only admire it from afar. Out in the open Canadian landscape it was easy to feel a presence of some kind, one that as a child I called God. Turning away from that is intimidating, but necessary. 

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