January 20, 2013


We lingered over the table this morning, munching on leftover trifle then moving on to Christmas cake. No one even raised an eyebrow at the large quantities of unconventional breakfast foods we were consuming. But maybe we needed a sweet overload to counteract the bitterness of the topic at hand: funeral planning [And if that excuse doesn’t lessen our nutritional culpability, I can also offer the justification that we had finished our proper breakfast food before moving on to dessert. ☺]
What struck me about our conversation was how easy it was. But then again, that’s one of the things I love about our family. For all our quirks, we generally manage to be quite practical about business that needs to be done. So if it’s casket-talk that is called for, we will do it without batting an eye . . . with the help, perhaps, of a belly full of fruitcake.
I don’t normally linger well over much of anything, never mind the breakfast table. But I’m so glad I did today, for several reasons. Not the least of which was the fact that once I did get up from the table, I [camera-handily] noticed that I had sat just long enough for a striking view of cloud cover to settle in on the valley below.
Later in the day I enjoyed a walk with a friend I had not seen since the summer. At the time, she was nearing the due date for her first pregnancy–one she had carried to term with the knowledge that her son would live only a few hours once out of the womb, due to a rare disorder. We spoke at the time of her plans for commemorating his life, during the few hours she and her husband would have to spend with him. We also spoke of how they would commemorate his death. We spoke of caskets.
So the irony of it all struck me this afternoon as I walked and talked with her. This morning I spoke of funerals with my grandparents. And this afternoon I learned that my friend has the bittersweet joy of remembering her son, at his nearby graveside, while she anticipates the birth of her second-born in just a few short months from now.


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