When I walked into the local church there was a visitation going on – of course. There’s nothing quite like staring at a casket of a dead guy to take my mind off of my deceased father. I knelt in the back pew, buried my head between my arms and cried as if I was mourning his death for the first time in my life. I don’t think I had ever been that affected by my unique situation before; perhaps it was a whole bunch of issues that I had been dealing with and this day served as the icing on my hormonally-injected cake.
I had been there for about 10 minutes and an elderly woman sat down beside me and put her warm hand on my back.
‘Did you know him well?’ she asked. Her eyes were tired, but kind and welcoming. I felt bad that I didn’t even know the guy in the coffin, but I didn’t lie to her – I didn’t see any point. She smiled and then I told her my entire story. I don’t know what enticed me to pour my heart out to this complete stranger, but somehow it made me feel a lot better. I felt like I had known this woman my entire life – like a long-lost grandmother, yet I didn’t even know her name.
We talked for a long time and took some breaks where she would pray and I would cry some more. I felt so much better – like a physical weight had been lifted off my chest. I know that’s a cliché, but that is exactly how it felt. After a while, she got up to leave. She gave me a hug and just as quickly as she had appeared, she was now gone.