I was all right until the very end. I shed a few tears during the service – one-and-a-half kleenex’s worth. But at the very end, someone let out a wail – a howl of despair – that fractured into broken sobs. It was her mom, paying her final respects before the casket was closed, crying in anguish. And the sound was like a dagger that tore a jagged hole in my heart. A mom, having to say goodbye to her baby.

Afterwards, we greeted friends – most of us with bleary eyes. We exchanged hugs, handshakes, shaky smiles. We went out for lunch. We laughed, reminisced, talked about new things happening in our lives. It struck me again how life goes on – how it wants to go on, how it must – even in the wake of so much tragedy.

“Being doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake…”

~ Marie Ray


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