I had a funeral to go to today. At my age, funerals are still rare things. You go to funerals for your older relatives, as the generations shift and your parents become the Grandparents and you become the Parents. Funerals are places where you see older people gathered about remembering the good old days. At my age, you can still count how many people are missing from your high school class, your college class. It stings to lose someone, but death is still something Over There, something that happens in a natural shift of the world in time. Then comes that first death when it really hits you, these people are gone, and its just too soon to start going to funerals for your friends. Seriously. I'm not old enough to be doing this.
I sat in the back, because to be honest, I'm not likely to be high up on this person's lists of People I Think About. When he graduated high school, I wasn't even there yet. He was in the band with my brother, who was in high school. He and his twin brother would sometimes come to the house; I was so young, I couldn't even tell you why they were there, probably something to do with band practices and stuff, and they were friends of my brother. I remember my brother thinking the world of them. I remember them actually including me, talking to me, joking with me, as if I wasn't just the Little Sister, but just another part of the Band Folks.
Think about your own high school days. Do you remember those seniors and juniors who took notice of you? Do you remember those kids who came after you? Did you even think about kids that came in to high school after you had left? Yeah, I doubt I was very high on the list. My brother, possibly; there was no forgetting my brother once you had met him, especially then, when his zany humor was at its zenith.
I went alone to this one. Bringing the boys would not be a good idea, spring fever is upon us. I sat in the back with another woman who was also alone. She was a few years older than me, so likely that she went to school with the twins. I scanned the room, wondering why there weren't more young people my age (well, slightly older than me, but close enough) in the room; everyone looked to be at least forty.
Did you just palm-slap your head in my honor?
So much for the amusing part. It was a really nice service, but it was really wrenching to see the family in so much pain, people I have such respect for, people I have looked up to since I was just becoming a teenager, people who, to me, embody the kind of people I want to be- loving, inclusive, welcoming, honest, honorable people. This was a loss of a hero. Did I really know these people now? Not really. But the memory of who they were, of that feeling of being a part and not an outsider at that moment, its one of those things that help you through the rough patches of growing up, and you think about it. A lot.
I think about these people every day, from the time I get up to the time I fall asleep, even though they hardly know me at all.
Rest in peace, David Cross.
And all my love and prayers for his brother and sister-in-law, Joey and Jennie Cross.