The Easter Piglet

Two years ago today, my best friend Margaret died in a hospital bed.  She was bleeding internally and suffering irreversible organ damage, from alcoholism.  She was only 51 years old.  We'd been best friends for 40 years, and she meant so much to me.  We'd lived through junior high and high school, rock concerts and boyfriends, weddings and baby showers, heart ache and joy.  I can't think back on my life without remembering her at my side.  I always thought we'd grow old together, planning meet-ups in our old stomping grounds in the bay area where we'd catch up, reminisce, and marvel at our lives.  It still feels almost impossible that she's gone.
I traveled to San Francisco for her funeral service -- really, it was only a graveside internment service.  It took place a few days after Easter, and I stood in the cemetery with my heart in my throat, still in shock.  It was unreal to see her laid to rest very close to where my parents are.  It was their time to be there, I thought, but not hers.

The priest who spoke at the service reminded us that Margaret was a child of God, an Easter child, he called it.  And so we could find peace in the hope of her resurrection.  It had been a long time since I'd heard words like that from a man in robes, and I found it so oddly comforting.  I think that's why we need funeral services.  Margaret's aunt had begged me not to travel all the way from Colorado for the short internment service, but she didn't understand how much I loved Margaret, or how much my heart needed to see her final resting place and hear the priest say those kind words of consolation.
The next day I was visiting SF with our friend Judy, who was hostessing me for the funeral.  In one store I was surprised to find a small bean bag toy in the shape of Piglet from Winnie the Pooh, wearing an Easter egg as his body.  The priest's words were ringing in my ears -- Margaret was an Easter child.  And since my nickname for her for all these years has been Piglet, I had to buy the toy and bring it home with me from SF in her memory.  It's been sitting under my bedroom window for the last couple of years.  Someday, I hope, it will make me smile and remember only the joy of her passing away from this life.

We're celebrating Easter this year with Ben; since going away to college he typically doesn't come home for the holiday, as it usually falls just after his Spring Break visit.  But he did come home last night and we're happy about it.  I wish you a lovely Easter, too!

Comments

Isn't it lovely when we get signs like that to bring us comfort. I remember when you posted about her passing. So very sad indeed. Both my boys have already had their college spring breaks and neither one of them coincided with Easter. Of course, they are too far away for visits anyways. Glad you are able to spend time with Ben. Easter blessings to you and yours.
Miss Iowa said…
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I totally agree with you about the importance of having some type of funeral service or life celebration; they can be comforting and help the living come to terms with their loved one's death. Belated Easter wishes to you and your family.

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