The Staten Island Funeral marked my first time ever taking communion in a catholic church. It was entirely by accident- I had no idea the priest was actually going to walk over and present the wafer to me, and I didn't want to be rude. Further, many of you know my fondness for crackers. So, I relented and played along. It wasn't until later on I realized that it was likely the final cantankerous act of the woman who's life we were celebrating. A woman who had declared she was ready to go-- and then did just that. Who in happier times had sent me a bill for the privilege of attending a party at her home, a party where I had brought much of the food. A woman who I had spent hours talking to, most significantly on a fall afternoon at her kitchen table. As she related to me a long story of love, frustration, forgiveness, and pain, and I simply listened. Knowing that there was nothing else for me to do. That day I was not a consultant, or adviser, or even a friend-- I was a witness. And that was enough.
Last week's funeral was at Arlington National Cemetery was also a first, and a statement to ceremony and honor and beauty that can be a part of a man's passing. A Vietnam Vet like my father, Mr. Posey was a gregarious man-- much like Terry-- and was often the life of the gathering, at least when I was around him. Able to charm a room and tell a story or a joke with ease. According to his family, he too had decided it was time to go. And went. I had no long talks with the man, but he reminded me of my own father and so many that I had known of his kind. Called to serve, injured in battle physically, and in other ways. And never again to heal.
As I reflect on these two great people I am left to wonder about those things we call scars. Some are seen, some unseen.. But we all carry them. The ones we can touch are easier, we know where they are- they hold a story or a memory-- they know their place. But the other, more insidious scars, hold so much more. Some people bury them under time or denial or rage-- others try to drown them. But still they remain. Often we give an outward show to mask whats felt inside. Never acknowledging that lasting feeling that hides under the bed, or in the closet, or in the attic- only coming out in those tired sleepless moments. And so we learn to live a dual life-- one seen by others, one seen from within.
And too often only merged on that last greatest day.