Today I attended a funeral for a close friends mother. Funerals are hard for me. Their sadness in the room is overwhelming. My friend’s pain was tangible. My love overwhelms me and my desire to fix it is monumental. Empath. Hazard of the trade. After my initial greeting and hug that I poured every bit of my own strength into transferring to him, I went to view his mother.
She was lovely. 93 years of life had only made her look loved and vibrant with experience. Her blue dress was soft and she looked peaceful. As if she had been ready. As I stood there and respectfully viewed the vessel that had carried such a lovely spirit, I noticed her hands. They looked so much like the gentle female hands of a woman that I hadn’t been able to visually remember for years. My grandmother.
My grandmother was the most influential femme I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. She raised me with the grace of a movie star, the wit of a scholar and more love than measurable. Today.. I saw her hands again. The same nails with a light polish just enough to look manicured. The same long long fingers. Should have played piano. The same feather-light gentle skin that looked so delicate had I held her hand in mine it might break if I was careless. My heart panged with a pain I had forgotten. Years of dementia had robbed her of communication and me of her loving gaze. I just stated at my friends mother and felt the hurt rise up in me.
As I was putting on my gloves that I received as a Christmas present from someone I cherish, I accidentally saw my own hands. Femmine hands. The same nails with a light polish just enough to look manicured. The same long long fingers. Should have played piano. The same feather-light gentle skin, not yet aged to the delicate nature of my grandmother… but on their way.
It was bittersweet. Memories and love overwhelmed me as I stood in that funeral parlor. It was unexpected. Life has a way of making you notice the important things.. even when you’re not looking.