Funerals are a necessary part of life yet they never get easier for me. I have lost my father, my grandparents, a good friend who was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 18, aunts, uncles, and many others throughout the years....
A family loss this week brought us to Richmond yet again ... Powhatan, specifically ... to bury my husband's brother on Saturday.
Childhood friends that had grown up with my husband and his siblings were there ... others were old friends when they were young adults ... as well as family and co-workers.
If there is a positive side to funerals, it is the reconnecting of people at such an event.
A number of children, the tiniest only five days up to 14 years old, were at the service ... a reinforcement of the circle of life. The procession of vehicles driving to the cemetery was escorted by Chesterfield police officers which was a familiar sight ... God bless them for the job they did blocking intersections as the motorcade made its way to the cemetery.
At the Powhatan County line the Chesterfield officers turned back while the Powhatan officers took over. As we passed each major intersection, patrol cars were blocking traffic while officers stood on the roadway respectfully at parade rest until the last vehicle had passed. Oncoming cars pulled off to the side of the road as the motorcade with bright lights and emergency flashers turned into the church cemetery.
Meeting two of my husband's childhood friends -- they had grown up together on the same rural road in Powhatan -- was a treat and we lingered in the church yard talking long after others had left.
They were kindred spirits in the political realm as we discussed the McCain election, Sarah Palin, politics in Virginia, and the war. Others were anxious to talk about how excited they were to have Sarah Palin on the ticket, how much they liked that she was down-to-earth, and for a couple of people she had actually swayed their vote into the McCain camp.
Funerals and politics ... life passages that are part of our journey....