Three Hundred Four: A Wake

“Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.”  – David Searls

Saturday, November 1st

The sister of a dear friend passed away recently. She had fought hard and kept strong through the treatment of her brain tumor, but her cancer had the last word. Her loved ones saw her health decline and found the courage to show up with more love every day.

My friend had mentioned in passing that the wake would be today – a walk down the beach. I didn’t know her sister, but my friend assured me that my presence was not mandatory. If I was there, stop and give her a hug.

This friend is one of the oldest friends I have from this city. She was my work buddy and had completely enchanted me with her bawdy humor and zest for life. She stored my furniture when I didn’t know where I was going to live next. She encouraged me to follow my dream and get out of a dead-end job. She knows not only how to fix her own car, but your brother’s car too. She has survived challenges that would make most people crawl under a log. She’s as good as it gets. A life mentor for me, and my sister-in-spirit.

So there was no way I’d miss the opportunity to send a little love and support her way. I readied my kids to go down to the beach. They couldn’t understand why we were going. They understood the death part, but not why we were going to celebrate the life of someone who we didn’t know. I like exposing my kids to things like this that they don’t quite understand.

We saw the group of walkers making their way down the beach and quickly parked so we could join in. We caught the group at the turn-around point where they were going to head back to the starting point. I walked up behind my friend and gave her the hug. When she saw my face, her body relaxed into the hug and I knew the effort had been 150% worth it. Really, we were only there for a short time and then it became apparent that a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old at the beach would not be still or silent. I beamed love down the beach to my friend from afar. It felt like such a small thing I could do to bring more love into our lives.

Do you attend and participate in funerals or wakes?


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