Thursday, July 30, 2009

Went to a funeral today

The wife of a man I used to work with died on Sunday. I got to go to the funeral today. It was a lovely funeral. (It was at my church, presided over by my favorite priest.) There were not many people from my workplace there. He has been retired for 10 years or so, and so most of the people who were close to him have since retired. Some of them were there, and it was good to see them.

When I was fairly newly sober someone in my AA group died. When I was asked if I was going to the funeral, I flatly stated "I don't do funerals." Someone asked me why, and I actually told her that I didn't like funerals! She laughed and said "do you think we LIKE funerals?" I really thought about that... and honestly I thought they might like funerals, but I knew I didn't. I was told I was going to the funeral. That it was important for me to show my face and be there. Oh, I did not like that!

But I learned to go to funerals. And hospitals (I didn't do hospitals either). I learned to stop thinking about myself 24/7 and to start thinking about what I could bring to others.

I am so grateful that I learned how to be a human being in Alcoholics Anonymous.

10 comments:

Lou said...

I used to say that too. It was very selfish.

dAAve said...

Same here.

Syd said...

I said that when I was younger about funerals, weddings, etc. I realized eventually how selfish that was. Now I go to all those things and let myself feel the feelings. It is cathartic.

Scott W said...

TGIF is all I got to say.

GeorgiaSnail said...

being able to sit with my feelings is the greatest gift I have been given. I no longer feel the need to crawl into a bottle, I know that the feeling will pass and be replaced with yet another feeling. Sorry to hear about your friend.

Pam said...

lovin' you Mary.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Nice post, stated well the growth we come to know if we work the steps...

Ed G. said...

I've had similar experience.

My only problem with funerals that I go to in AA (I'm old and been sober a long time so I've been to many) is when the folks sharing forget that it's also about the dead person or their family. I've been to funerals recently where, if I heard one more drunk share about how this event affected me, I was going to puke.

Milestones seem to be important to acknowledge, but it's also good to notice that others might be more affected than me...

Blessings and aloha...

Cheryl said...

I've gone from saying that, to being able to be grateful for the chance to attend.

Mary Christine said...

Oh Ed, I could write a whole post about what AA members do to unsuspecting funerals - they take it over and totally overrun the family. It is truly awful.

I was just a simple person at the back of the church yesterday. Just there to show my support for my colleague.