Twenty five years have passed since our friendship was broken by honesty. We had seen each other only once in the years since. That one brief meeting was fifteen years ago as we passed each other walking in opposite directions through the funeral home doors. It was our final visit to another friend. There was no chance to talk as we greeted each other with the sorrow for lost friends.
Today we met again for the funeral of her 98-year-old mother. My friend was dressed in a floor-length black nylon skirt and blouse unadorned by even the smallest piece of jewelry. She looked 25 years older with her gray hair and wrinkled face. I wondered if I looked 25 years older. We greeted each other as long-lost friends with one last hug.
The service was short without the grief that overwhelms us at services for younger people or those who die suddenly without giving us the chance to prepare. This old woman’s friends and relatives were almost all gone as was her husband-gone now almost 50 years. Only her children and grandchildren remain now to remember this woman for their remaining years.
There was no trip to the grave or funeral dinner for mourners. It was over. Her mother was laid to rest; our friendship was laid to rest. There would be no other deaths that would bring us together again.