As I sat at my desk drinking my hazelnut coffee early on a Monday morning, my coworker came in and we went through I usual “how was your weekend,…cant wait until winter break,…the weather is crazy right?!” She let me know she attended a funeral the night prior. She shared with me that it was unlike any funeral she had ever seen. They were honoring this man, the father of her brother in law. He was an older man, who was in a motorcycle club and had a large Italian family. She said no one wore the usual black on black, most were casual or wearing their motorcycle cuts. The people that spoke had funny stories and jokes to share. Everyone had a drink in hand and a smile on their face. Yes they cried, and yes they will miss him, but it was a celebration of his life. She said she had never seen soo many people at 1 funeral. All his friends, his family, his club, all the people he impacted and that loved him.
I thought to myself last night, if I died today, who would attend my funeral?
As existential as that sounds, it is more about my life here and my lack of valuing the relationships in my life.
I am a married mother of 2 boys, I moved about 20 miles from my hometown, and rarely ever visit. My mother lives about half way between me and were I grew up. I visit her every other month. I moved a lot when I was younger and once we stayed put for a while, about the time I entered jr high, most people made their set group of friends. I had school friends, people I hung out with and had the occasional sleep over, but once my brother passed away in my 8th grade year, I changed. I no longer knew what it was to be happy, I felt empty, my mother was empty, my father was empty (but full of tum), my younger brother was too young to know what was happening and my older sister was living a dark life and never really took the time to see the light and realize what was happening. I have no aunts or uncles or cousins or grandmother that live in this country. So I dealt with his death by hiding in my room behind my computer.
I never learned to nurture a friendship, I never learned to trust and truly care for someone. I was selfish, I did not care what you were going through, cuz trust me I was going through worse. I did not care if someone was crying over their divorced parents, my brother died how about that?! It took me a long time to see that was not OK.
I sit her as a woman in her early 30s and I realize, I have no true friends, nor associates, nor comrades, nor frenemies. with the power of social media, I do not have to go very far to see how peoples life is going, or at least how they want the world perceive how their life is going.
I am not lonely.
I have people I care about, I have people that I can send a funny text to. I have people I can call to say hello and have a nice conversation. I have people that are more than friends and I consider family. But all of those people, they don’t really know me, they don’t really have a place in my life.
If I died today would they attend my funeral?