Of Cabbages and Kings

Today was an unexpectedly hard day. A man I barely knew, who was hardly tied to my family, died recently. He led a good life. He was 89 years old. He passed after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and various “old age” illnesses, like double pneumonia. He was a veteran and well loved. We met twice, maybe three times. He was a nice man. His daughter is my mother-in-law. She married my father-in-law after I married J.D. By all accounts, this was about me showing up to support her.

Tell that to the girl on the back row crying to herself.

Every funeral, since those of 2006, first burying my Nunna and then my D-daddy, has been a revisiting of their funerals. Every burial has been me burying them again. You must understand that they were my stars. They were EVERYTHING in the world that was stable and loving. I love my parents and losing them will be hard. But losing my grandparents was like losing my true north. And my compass has never recovered.

So today, sitting in the back row, alone, at the funeral of man I barely knew, I tried desperately to not interrupt the grief of another family. And I grieved the loss of the only unconditional love I have ever understood.

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