A high school friend died this week. He only lived 38 years. At this writing, no one knows what happened and we'll have to wait for the autopsy. We hadn't spoken in over a decade, but my memories of him are vivid. He was always kind to me, always protective and generous. In many ways, he was the older brother I never had.
His memorial service is in a few days and I'm utterly ashamed to say I'm excited to see friends from high school. You see, most of my friends were older than me. By the time I was a senior, the majority of my friends had graduated. Going to a class reunion feels somewhat empty for me because precious few of my friends were actually in my class. This will be a reunion of sorts. Sad, but true. How wretched to feel excited about going to a memorial service.
With the excitement of seeing friends comes the worry that I won't look good enough. All the worries about my body I left behind with high school graduation have knocked over my big girl maturity and now dance on my self-esteem. Will my face be puffy and red from being sick with a cold this week? Will I look thin enough? Will I look happy and content with my life? I'll spare you the gazillion vain questions pummeling my psyche. What matters, really, is just being there for the service. I need to keep in mind that going shows respect for my friend. He would have appreciated me in sweats and with stringy hair. Does it really matter what people (whom I haven't seen since graduation) think? I wish I had a pithy last sentence. But I don't. I'm sick in body and sad in heart.