The funeral home was crowded, and people were lined up out the door. We made our way through the line to do one last viewing and pay our respects to the family. My Aunt, her children, and her grandchildren were coping as well as could be expected, but their lives had changed, and would never be the same.
As we made our way to the back of the room, several people could be heard talking about how wonderful my Uncle was, or when they saw him last, or what a great husband, father, grandfather, and friend he had been.
We stopped to look at the flower arrangements sent in respect, we paused at the picture collage put together by his family, and then watched the video display of his life. Each picture featured a happy family man.
Our family has always been close, and my Uncle was also my Godfather. He was quick with a smile, and never said anything bad about anyone. Like the others, there were so many memories that bubbled to the surface. Holidays, parades, cookouts, family gatherings, and sports. He loved supporting the children in their sports. He would sit with my parents and cheer on our soccer team, not only rooting for out children, but cheering for our competition as well.
The afternoon viewing ended, and we were going home before the evening viewing. Leaving the funeral home, we saw children riding bikes, and girls sitting on steps laughing, having fun. Their day hadn’t changed, they were doing what they normally did.
We walked to the car, talking about my Uncle, and the children playing in the street. The grocery store up the street continued to serve customers, the gas station had car owners filling up. People walked dogs, children ran down the street, someone even tended to his lawn.
While we spent the afternoon remembering my Uncle and comforting his family, the rest of the world continued unaware of our family loss.
The two hours between viewings went quickly. Soon we were in the car driving back to the funeral home. Heading in from the car, I noticed a couple walking hand-in-hand down the street.
Not everyone experiences life the same. One family may be experiencing a loss, while another is filled with great joy. Whether loss or joy, families always pull together to be with one another.
Our family is one short. Life goes on, but it will be different.
When you are writing, do you have your characters experience a life changing event? It gives them depth and makes the story believable. Maybe a birth, wedding, or death. What do you do to show your characters inner feelings? Share with us, we’d love to know.