Monday, November 9, 2015

Paying attention isn't enough

When I was little, I loved funeral homes.

I went, it seems, to an inordinate number of funerals when little, but the deceased were old. And I don't mean old for a little kid but old for their time.

Funeral homes were a chance to hang out with my cousins when adults were preoccupied, play discreet games and explore uncharted lands.

I still have what I am sure is an apocryphal memory of stumbling down some stairs and into the embalming lab and seeing sets of eyeballs on a rotating shelf.

I was reminded of that memory yesterday when I saw the stairs in question. Unfortunately, there were no games last night. When I spied the stairs, I was in a receiving line for a USA TODAY editor who died of cancer.

First off, not a fan of receiving lines. What can you say to a woman who has lost her husband or a Mom and Dad who have lost their son?

"I'm sorry" hardly seems to cut it. It is never easy for me to go places -- I think that is apparent -- so perhaps people see me and it means a lot to them that I went. But that is just not enough.

"Attention must be paid," and I do, but I need to do more.

I should be able to fix things, but I can't. I can't help the wife, the parents, my teary friend.

I no longer care for funeral homes.


Anonymous said...

can we please back up to the eyeballs on the rotating tray? really? You have lived a life I can only imagine.

ps, yes, funerals are hard

Matt Trott said...

Well, I doubt they were really eyes.

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