It’s been quite a day.
We woke this morning and packed for our overnight in Maryland. The plane ride was smooth, we met BoBo almost immediately (he drove from Massachusetts to meet us – he has a meeting in Pensylvania on Tuesday and thought it best that he drive) and found our hotel. Then we changed and went to the wake.
It was a strange and difficult affair. April had divorced Dudley after having found another love, and both men were there. I have to say here that, even though the divorce was a profoundly difficult thing for Dudley to endure, and he didn’t always behave in ways that he was proud of, he stood up and found it in himself to give April’s man genuine sympathy and comfort. I am in awe of how well he has overcome his own grief and pain to acknowledge that April really loved this other man, and to give him the respect he deserves for it.
It was an open casket affair, and I made a point of not looking full-on at the body. I’ve learned, from previous experience with such events, that the image of the deceased in the casket is one that will stay in the mind for a long time, and I would rather keep my happier memories of my friend. I was touched that Dudley had chosen to include a photo of April and me together on the board of pictures next to the casket. It really helped me to solidify that I WAS her friend, and that we meant a lot to each other, despite our recent disagreements.
When the wake was over, we went to Dudley’s house for a while. That’s where I felt like it really got weird because my previous experiences with such things told me that this was the time when everyone stands around with paper plates full of pot luck food and remembers the one who passed. We had the food, and we stood around talking, but we didn’t really talk about April. We were in her former husband’s home – the home he shares with his fiancee, and it just didn’t seem right to talk about April in that place. I’m not saying that it was a bad scene – there was plenty of hugging and fellowship and reminiscing, just that most of those memories didn’t include April.
I haven’t cried yet. I’m hoping the funeral tomorrow helps me come to grips with all of this.