On Tuesday I attended the funeral of someone who was one of my best childhood friends. It seems I am destined to become a pro at this sort of thing much earlier than I would like.
This was not like Kyle. That death ripped a whole out of my life and forced me to reorder, rethink. To lay in the ashes until the tears refused to come anymore.
The death of Kevin has caused me great sadness. But we had been functionally removed from each others life for many years, save the once every few months email and once every few years lunch. The sadness I feel is less acute, more bearable, but also more fearful, shameful. Things should not happen this way. When you care about someone, you stay in touch. You let the moments linger, clock be damned.
Several years ago, in pondering how the disciples of Jesus could have left to prepare for the Sabbath after his death, I posted these thoughts...
How could they do this? How could they be so committed to these rituals that they would leave the body of the man who was their life for the previous three years, just so they could get ready for Sabbath.
I ponder this and I realize, they didn't know.
When Kyle died we became many things and one of them is this: We became a lingering people. In the emergency room and at the memorial service, at the funeral and at the grave site, we all lingered around for long periods of time. Part of this was to be with each other and part of it was to find out information but I can't help but believe that part of the reason we lingered is this: At the very core of who we are as a people, as the global and local people of The Way, is the knowledge of resurrection.
That first group of Jesus' followers left because they thought that was all there is, so they may as well just return to life as usual. We know different and when someone we love dies we are in on the secret.
We should all linger around each other a little longer...