The reception after the memorial


I went to a memorial service a few months ago, for a person I’d known pretty well for over twenty years.  It was solemn, mostly, though there were a few moments of levity.

Then there was a reception afterward.

It’s nice to see people you haven’t seen for a while; the mood is always lighter at these things, and people always seem to be laughing.  It’s probably just relief after the sobriety of the service.

But now and then you get this soaring sense of vertigo: you know who would have really enjoyed this?  The deceased.  She really would have liked this.

And then you wonder what kind of reception you’ll get when your time comes.  And then you think about people laughing and eating, and beginning the long road toward forgetting you.

Now how do you feel?

Creepy, that’s how. 

I made my excuses and left.

Rest in peace, dear heart.  You have my love.  I’ll keep your birthday on my calendar.  Your family will remember you, and your friends, and I am proud to call myself one of your friends.  

And we will all miss you.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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