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It’s a strange thing to watch a funeral from the outside.

It feels like I’m watching a movie, and not a particularly good one. A movie where I know all the characters, feel like I could be a part of their family. Maybe I was, once upon a time. But I can’t seem to visualize myself there. I feel like I know each person gathered in this room to mourn the loss of someone they loved dearly, but can’t bring myself to feel the proper emotions.

I feel, quite accurately, like I am an outsider.

I don’t belong here. Not like everyone else, anyway. I suppose I should be here, but not in a way most people would understand.

I don’t belong here like the young woman seated in the front, tear-streaked face buried in the shoulder of the man sitting next to her. He has his arm wrapped around her soothingly, lovingly, but it’s also muffling the sounds of her sobbing. Her short dark hair is falling out of her barrette, and she does nothing to fix it. In her clenched fist, she holds a handful of tissues, long past useless, and it’s obvious that she hears nothing that the people in front of her are saying.

I don’t belong here like the man five or six seats away, the complete opposite of our nearly hysterical mourner. This man simply sits, almost perfectly still, eyes fixed on the priest in front of him. Tears paralyzed by grief, he drinks in the words that few other people seem to be able to hear. The only movement he makes is the continuous, rhythmic, tugging at his watchband. His face looks composed; almost calm, except for his hazel eyes, dark circles beneath revealing that he hasn’t slept well in days, the pain within betraying why.

Strangely, the person I feel most connected to is the person everyone else seems to shun. He, like me, belongs here, but not in the traditional sense. He looks nearly the same as everyone else—grief-stricken, shocked, a single tear tracing it’s way down his cheek—but he’s seated a row behind everyone else in an attempt to draw attention away from himself. It hasn’t worked so far. Every few minutes, a head will turn around for a quick peek, a stolen glance. This man reminds me of the way a small child might behave at an event like this—knowing he has to stay and behave, but wanting nothing more than to sprint out of the room and never come back.

The priest finishes his sermon, and after a few seconds pause, the people seated gradually begin to rise and leave for the burial. I decide not to go along for this. It’s far too strange for me to watch a funeral from the outside.

Especially when it’s mine.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

thatclarinetgirl said...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 8:22 am:
This is absolutely beautiful! I wish i could write something like this
 
DefyGravity123 replied...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm :
Thanks so much! I'm really glad you liked it!
 
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