I took a break from blogging in the last week. I was not sure how to put into words all of the things going on. By 8pm tonight it will have been more than a week since Scott, my childhood friend's little brother, passed away unexpectedly.
In case you were wondering which friend, it's this friend's brother:
Diana has been a part of my life for twenty years. I have to say that I am not a good friend. I don't really know how to be. I stopped knowing what is expected of a friend a long time ago. Right now, I'm still getting used to the fact that I decided to stay alive.
However one time we were really amazing friends. There used to be a time where we called each other every night and stayed on the phone for hours. We went to each other's birthday parties.
We even fought over some of the same guys, but somehow we got over that. After high school this changed a little as our taste in men began to differ--just like our personalities. She considered herself to be country and at the time I had my eyes on escaping our home town somehow. By age 21 we had slowly drifted apart. Sure, we kept in touch with social media but somehow I went from giggling with her in the middle of the night pigging out and reading junk magazines to never seeing her again.
She will always have a huge place in my heart. Throughout all my drama, she stuck with me the longest. Her family stuck with me the longest too. Having her little brother die last week felt like having a neighbor die. It almost felt like having a brother of my own die. Not quite. I hope never to know the difference.
I have a habit of skipping funerals. There have been more than a dozen deaths in my high school class, including one death from the other school I went to. My paternal grandparents have passed, my Aunt Charlene has passed, even my coworkers passed away in the last several years. I have managed to skip funerals like crazy.
Here is what I do at a funeral.
1. Spend all my waking moments planning what to wear to the funeral only to have the outfit not be appropriate somehow. At my stepmother's funeral I wore a maxi skirt and black blouse. My roots were showing so I put red mascara in them. My father never said anything to me but apparently everyone asked him why my forehead was bleeding and why I did not have something more appropriate to wear.
2. Avoid the body as much as possible. I have no desire to really see the embalmed version of someone I used to know. The face is always shocking. Oh, no, they're dead, they're really dead. Then when you get close up to get a good look there's always too much makeup on the hands or their head is tucked into their neck at an odd position. And I think you're supposed to pray or have a moment of silence, which for me feels super uncomfortable. So I just say goodbye.
3. Hug as many people as possible. This is why I go to a funeral. I don't really go to say goodbye or to show off my stupid outfit. I don't even go for closure or to mourn. I go to hug other people who are really sad. I go there to get my sad on. To be honest, it is kind of embarrassing. It's hugging the most important people of my life that brings me some kind of peace. We're in this loss together. The more people I know at a funeral, the better. It makes me feel like we're protecting each other.
I don't like to mourn at funerals.
Here is how I mourn.
Step 1. Take off all my clothes.
Step 2. Get package of cheese from refrigerator.
Step 3. Lay on couch and eat cheese while not wearing clothes.
Step 4. Continue process until all the good cheese is gone/scheduled to go back to work. I mean, when I'm scheduled to go back to work. Who knows when the cheese is scheduled to go to work. If I eat enough cheese, there might be no work at all.
I still mourn after that, but the really bad mourning is dulled. Today I may have screwed up my diet with some lemon pepper wings (that sauce had sugar) and then a bowl of cereal (because fuck it) but cheese is usually my true go-to.
Before I mourn I do the whole, "I'm so shocked" thing which involved a lot of crying in the mirror, sometimes while singing. I would include that in the steps but I mean I've already admitted I eat cheese off of my chest while my butt is perched on the sofa. I've also made a constipation reference in what was supposed to be an explanation of why I haven't been around--Scott died. Why can't I be respectful?
I think in the last week I sat crying at my desk a lot too. There were a lot of wonderful memories throughout the week on Scott's memorial page such as his boy scout photos and stories about how sweet he was and how he liked to aggravate people.
Just when I felt like I've said my goodbye I remember the living.
I remember my friend, Diana.
And I know I can't do this anymore. I cannot just comment on Facebook and blog posts or Twitter mentions and tell myself that is enough.
There will come a time one of us isn't there to hug the other one.
Thinking about that makes me never want to write another word.