A childhood friend of Partner’s passed away recently. We went to the wake.



I’d met a lot of the people before, as a brother of the deceased had passed away some years ago, and we’d gone to that wake too. But I was amazed that everyone seemed to remember me. “Are you kidding?” Partner said later. “Of course they remembered you. We were the talk of the place the first time. We were the only gay couple there.”



The deceased was in his coffin, looking as if he’d just drowsed off. His daughter told us: “We made sure he was wearing his casual clothes. We wanted him to be comfortable.” Partner touched his arm as we knelt by the coffin, to say goodbye. A few weeks before, when we’d visited him, the deceased told Partner: “You were my first friend.” I thought that was an extraordinarily wonderful thing to say to someone.



The family (there were five living siblings, and some spouses, and children, and cousins) were all very warm, and glad to see Partner, and very nice to me. The funeral home was full of laughter: people reminiscing, people telling stories (about the deceased and about all kinds of other things), people reconnecting with one another.



“We never see each other except at funerals!” people say.



Ain’t it the truth.



Wakes and funerals always make me realize how important my friends are.



Have you said hello to your friends lately? Email, snail mail, Facebook, telephone?



Get on it.



Life is shorter than you think.



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

2 Responses to Wake

  1. starproms says:

    How true Loren. Our friends are like flowers – they die without water. I’m off to get the watering can! He had a lot of mourners, didn’t he.Commiserations to your partner.

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