Friday, January 26, 2018


Today was a long one. We just drove in from South Alabama where we attended the wake of our friend Deidra's dad who passed away this week. He was 91. We stood in line for over an hour before we reached the head of the line.

The family was "beat." This ritual is brutal. I understand it, but that doesn't make it easy when you're standing in line and receiving what seems to be a never-ending line of friends, family, and well-wisher. I've been there with both parents and two brothers.

I didn't have time to take a picture again today, so I scanned back through the archive and found a picture taken in January 2008. It was the week of my birthday. I was standing on the beach at dusk. The colors of the sea and sky were remarkable shades of pink, mauve, and gray.


  1. It's a beautiful and pensive photo, Rick. When my dad died in 1960, the line was 45 minutes long and totally amazed me. He was a school teacher and I had no idea so many people would come to pay their respects. But in later years, I realized the value, the impact he had on many lives. I can identify with your friend's loss and with the length of the line. Her father must have been a much-valued man. The photo reminds me of how I felt 58 years ago, deep in another century, about the difference between a line and the individuals who compose it.

  2. YOu are so right about the 'brutal ritual'. BUT it seems what both the mourners and the family need. But it is brutal.
    The Gulf Coast picture certainly illustrates your statement.

  3. I agree about the brutal ritual but it's healing for the family to see how friends and acquaintances want to be there to give their respect and tributes for the deceased member of the family as a sign of support and admiration or love.
    Hugs, Julia

  4. On days like that I like to imagine I'm on the beach...It's been my way to get away from unpleasant things for years. An imaginary trip to the beach can do wonders.

  5. It is hard in a situation like that. Everyone means well. They want to ease your pain. After time has passed you remember that people cared but it is difficult at the time.

  6. We didn't do the ritual of the receiving line at my parents' funerals. It made the day a little easier.



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