We are buying sympathy cards today -- actually Patty is, I doubt there are the words.
Two funerals today, one for an Airstream friend we never actually met and another for the husband of a childhood friend I first met when she was toddling around in snowsuits. Both Irishmen who lived full lives, found happiness with strong women they dearly loved and died within hailing distance of the feast of St Patrick.
Patty was checking out with her chosen cards. Connie, the checker, read each.
"TWO cards," she questioned, and then broke into sobbing.
"I lost my son a month ago."
Patty had no words, and said so. "I just can't imagine..."
"You know," she continued after both had eased their tears, "You are the first person who hasn't given me advice..."
In the last week I've read nearly a thousand messages to our Airstream friend Maggie, all trying to comfort and encourage and offer assistance. All have been sincere and many eloquent. Maggie has accepted all graciously, but ultimately words fail.
Sandy's big hearted Irish guy will be sent on his way with a huge rambunctious wake. He financed it himself years ago and appointed planners he knew would follow through.
Maggie's Doug will be buried from a historic old Moravian church in Iowa. I imagine it will be quiet. There will be words, with strong families gathered near, but in the end there will be tears and the memories that will live silently in our hearts.