12 hours ago
Friday, May 1, 2009
The joy of living
Last night, Dave and I went to Karen's wake.
I wept the second we walked in, and decided I could not bear to see her in the casket. So I spoke with her husband (who was shaky yet holding up) and family, but stayed on the other side of the room. Dave went up to her and paid his respects.
After, in the car ride home, I asked him how she looked a million different ways. Dave said she looked healthy. He said she looked peaceful. He said she looked like Karen—as if she were going to get up and start chattering away, as she was prone to.
I needed to know what she was wearing, and of course Dave didn't remember (what guy ever remembers what a woman is wearing), so I called my good friend Paola, who had come, too. She told me Karen was wearing a black silk dress. Her hair was parted to the side. She had on pink lipstick. She was holding a white lace handkerchief and a cross. She looked beautiful.
Rest in peace, my little friend.
If there's one good thing to come out of this, I'd say that it's made me realize I have to stop taking friends for granted and carve out more time to see them. We get so busy with life and activities that friends fall to the wayside. It's a shame that it took a tragedy to make me realize this.
So, that's my vow, in Karen's memory: more time with friends and more appreciation of them. Karen would have approved—she loved to entertain, throw dinner parties and make plans. Please, help me honor her by making some sort of vow that will help you enjoy life more. Do it for me, too: If I know her death made a difference in people's lives, it will feel less like she died in vain.
Photo by Panorama Paul.