It’s been pouring rain here. My kids are about to go on winter break, and it’s cold, windy and pouring.
One day My High School Best Friend and I were home from school on a day like this. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t break.
We were kneeling against of the back of the couch, watching the rain for boredom, when we saw black-clad people begin to file out of the church across the street.
What terrible weather for a funeral.
We started guessing who the people were. One of us grabbed the newspaper, and learned it was a 48-year-old man being mourned.
We went like this: That must be the wife. I’m thinking those are the parents, and that’s his sister, Lily. Everything we needed was in the obituary.
After about 15 minutes the funeralgoers made their way to their cars, where an attendant was putting neon ‘funeral’ stickers on windshields.
My Best Friend said, “Let’s go.”
We raced up to my room and changed into black dresses, then jumped in my car. We drove across the street and around the block so we could come in the back of the church lot. As we came toward the front, we got a neon sticker.
We inched our way to the cemetery toward the back of the procession. When we got there, we put on our somber faces and made our way to the gravesite, heels sinking in muddy ground and rain pelting our hair. It occurred to us we should have grabbed an umbrella.
By the time the service was over, we were both depressed. It felt like we knew the guy.
We joined in the post-burial mingling, offering condolences to the widow — called it — and her family. We hugged cousins, co-workers and the guy he played racquetball with.
Back at my house we changed out of our sopping clothes and cried.
We heated up some canned soup and tried to get over the loss of whats-his-name.