Fucking shit, the wake I went to today was so very sad (obviously). But it was so much more than that. It was also an impromptu grade & high school reunion. And everyone looked like shit because everyone could NOT hold back their tears. We also all have aged over the years.
The line to pass the (thankfully) closed casket snaked out the back of the door, and it took about an hour to reach...Mikey. FUCK, his family placed blown up pictures of him (he was really, really good looking) along the way, which just screwed with my head. I did all I could to support my good friend Sue, and be her "husband" (he couldn't fly back from Alaska) and be strong as fuck.
Mostly, I held it together, but when Mikey's Mom told me "we had him for 29 wonderful years" I fucking completely lost it. I dashed to the coat room, grabbed my jacket, and smoked 2 cigs back to back while bawling my eyes out.
I got my shit together enough to engage in random conversations with people I haven't seen in 15, maybe even 20 years. One girl in particular, I used to have an innocent crush on in the 5th grade. We briefly re-connected, embraced and she totally fucking lost it, weeping on my (mostly healed) shoulder.
Everywhere I looked, I saw red, moist eyes, 15-20 years removed from what I last saw. FUCK. If you saw me in the line to pay respects, you'd figure me as an asshole, since I tried my best to tell jokes and laugh and shit, which was my defense, and my way of acting strong for those around me.
It's the hardest fucking thing I've ever been through.