Photo: Arwen Abendstern, Flickr Creative Commons
This morning I'll be doing something that I hate more than anything else I can think of. One of my high school friends died earlier this week and his funeral is scheduled for 11, New Year's Day. I hate funerals, and I know saying this is kind of stupid. Everyone hates funerals. I just don't deal with death very well. It took me years to be able to think of my grandfather without choking up after he died. I've had to fight back tears and gotten that tight painful feeling in the back of my throat when just going to support my wife at funerals of people I didn't even know. I suck. I inherited the soft heart and easy tears of the men in my dad's family. I'm not manly enough to keep from crying and manly enough to think I should be embarrassed.
Except I shouldn't be embarrassed. Tomorrow I will get up, put on my black suit and a tie and go to a church I haven't attended in years to mark the passing of a man I've known since we were children. We were in the band together in high school and his mom worked with mine in the same school for decades. He was only 27. This shouldn't be easy to deal with. I don't know why I always feel like a little less of a man because I struggle with it.
The irony here is that while I've always struggled dealing with the death of others, I've never been afraid of my own.