I put on wedges hoping my legs, my knees and spine wouldn’t cause me as much pain as wearing heels, especially after my condition flared last week. I wanted to look like a grown up while paying my respects to my late colleague. All was going well until I reached the church in Northport, LI and realized it was at capacity. We were instructed to walk about three minutes away to another church which was handling the overflow. I put on my mask and tentatively took steps down the street. I made it without too many problems, except for the stairs.
Dozens of people were inside paying their respects to Todd. Luckily, a woman in a pew near the door slid over to make room for us. I took out a tissue and braced for tears as his colleagues, his daughter and his wife shared moving stories about their time with Todd. I teared up many times but I tried to follow the example set by his family, which was to remain strong and take comfort in the legacy of gentle, kind, artistic man.
By the time I emerged from the church, my heart was heavy and my legs were tired. But, I got to see, to hug and to mourn with my colleagues and friends who had trekked out to pay their respects too. It was nice to see everyone out in the open air where I was less concerned about health risks. However, I wish we’d reconnected under better circumstances.
I said quick hellos and goodbyes before it was time to head to my mother-in-law’s home to check on her after her heart procedures. I was limping and leaning on my husband as we made our way to our car.
I was glad I came out to let Todd’s family know he was loved by so many. I was also grateful to look into the eyes of my grieving colleagues to let them know that I still care about them and we still have each other.
If you learn anything from someone’s death, it should reinforce the notion that when we pass away who we were and how we impacted others matters more than what we did for a living.
Rest In Peace, Todd.
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