I’m attending a memorial service this afternoon for a person I didn’t know. And it’s not the first time. I’ve been to a number of services for people I either never met, or was barely acquainted with. Let’s just say it’s a bit awkward.
(The first such service I sat through, years ago, happened to fall on my birthday. Our plans for a special outing were interrupted by the demise of an acquaintance of Pete’s, who dropped dead while shoveling snow off his sidewalk. We endured over four hours of sobbing people repeating stories for which we had no context. I sobbed too—first because it was such a rotten way to spend a birthday, and second because I felt guilty about feeling that selfish.)