Completely powerless

I went to a funeral this weekend.

A coworker’s wife passed died. She had been struggling with a kidney condition for years. I’d see this friend of mine go in and out of work when there’d be a spell of illness.

She passed a few days ago and the ceremony was this weekend. A few of us from work attended the service.

I just sat there.

In moments like that I really have no idea what to say. And I think that’s alright. Any of us are hardly expected to “fix” the grief with a cutesy saying or religious cliche.

I’m someone who enjoys laughter—who enjoys making people laugh. In situations with loss, I’m completely out of my element. I just stop. Time just stops. Everything stops. And there it is—a feeling of stillness, where all of life’s static slows and fades and what’s left is a genuine moment of vulnerability.

A man lost his wife. Children lost their mother.

Even in the receiving line afterwards, when I came face to face with this woman’s children, tears filling their eyes, I almost felt ashamed that I didn’t know more about her. I think I managed to choke out a well meant “God be with you,” but I still felt like I was intruding. It’s so strange how funerals seem to be less for the grieving family and more to help attendees feel better—like if I just put in my time at the service, say my phrase about God and his will, then I can go joke about something else in the parking lot.

Things like funerals hit me to the core. I know it’s unhealthy to dwell on someone’s pain. The world is full of it. There’d never be time for anything else. But at the same time, even with a friend and coworker, I wish I could have done more than just attend a service.

I’m still thinking about it. I’ll pray.


About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

3 responses to “Completely powerless”

  1. wilsonian says :

    Presence is enough, Salmons.
    After the fact, you don’t remember who was there, or what they said… but you sure remember if you stood and grieved alone.

  2. Joshua says :

    Thanks Wil. Sometimes it’s just strange feeling so ineffective.

  3. Artras Linkutis says :

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