Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life, The Dead and Peace

Thanks for the outpouring of support—it was comforting.

It's impossible to stop thinking about Karen, everything is a painful reminder. Like when I rode the train to work yesterday and saw all the bright, new green leaves on the trees—a beginning that seemed incongruous with the tragic ending of Karen's life. Like when I was looking through my cellphone for a phone number and came upon Karen's; I wanted to call it and leave her a message. Like when I gave Max and Sabrina hugs, and I thought of how much Karen loved her own children.

Dave had tickets to see The Dead last night. I didn't feel like going but then I thought, Karen would have wanted me to go. So, we went. I swayed along to the music, I breathed in the pleasant aromas (!), I cried in the dark for Karen during the long riffs.

Here's a crappy photo.

Karen's wake is Thursday. I'll be going, but I cannot decide whether or not I want to actually see her. I want to remember her alive. Yet part of me also wants to glimpse her one last time. I am torn.


  1. Go to the wake. The "last look" doesn't override the memories that reside in the mind's eye. You can play those over and over in your head, and even a final viewing doesn't take those away.

    Trust me, I speak from experience.

    So sorry for your loss. I do know how you feel.

  2. I think you have to go with your gut. I'm sorry that your friend had her life cut so tragically short.

  3. My feeling would be to to the wake, if just to show your support for her family. You don't have to look at her if you don't want to, but I agree with what Felicia said - it won't change your memories.

    I'm sorry for everyone involved.

  4. Ellen, i see first hand how difficult it is to face a loved one in the casket, but it helps bring closure for the bereaved. If that is too much to bear, you can always walk up to the family, give your condolences, and sit in the back of the chapel. The most important thing is that you are going and supporting her family.

  5. So sorry Ellen...Thinking of you.

  6. The Dead is a great way to celebrate life. What a long strange trip it's been for everyone. Death is always harder on those left behind.

  7. Seeing them is a way of closure for me, but I understand your not wanting to. When my mom past they did not allow me to see my mom. I kinda wish they had.

    She must have been an amazing person. Again, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  8. I read all the time but never have commented. However, I wanted to tell you to go. I am a 24 year old high school teacher, and two weeks ago one of my students committed suicide at age 18. I went to his wake and saying goodbye gave me so much peace. Like Felicia said, seeing her at the wake will not override all of your good times. Plus, she's already watching over you! I am mourning with you. God bless.

  9. Ellen....I'm glad you went to the Dead and took good deep breaths. (I'm happy to know you like the Dead too...but that's another story).

    Don't make up your mind about seeing her until you're there and in the moment. Forethought doesn't really have dibbs when it comes to the emotion in a wake.

  10. Ellen:
    I am so very sorry to hear about your friend. I simply cannot imagine what you're feeling right now.

    I've never been big on the whole open casket thing myself, but recently, when my grandpa died, I kind of wished that I'd had one last chance to see him, but my mom and uncle had opted for closed casket. I guess, there's no good way to deal with the death of a loved one.

  11. I am so sorry that your friend has passed away. It is so tragic that she will never grow old with her children and that her children will grow up without a mother.
    I can't even imagine what her family is going through.


Thanks for sharing!

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