Monday, June 18, 2007

It's never easy

Every month she comes into the funeral home and smiles as she holds out her fifty dollars. Sometimes it's two twenties and a ten, other times it's a fifty, and other times it's fives and singles. When her adult son had taken his life a few years ago and we made the arrangements for his funeral her biggest concern was that she didn't have the money right away to pay me. It was obvious that she didn't have much yet she wanted to do the best she could for her boy. I've since told her more than once that the bill was taken care of yet she insists on "paying her way".

All of his life he had been a person that just never seemed to fit in with schoolmates or his family and never had very many friends. He had grown quite fond of illegal drugs and had several run ins with the law yet managed to hold a small job at a local appliance store keeping the place clean. Everyone knew him and he was referred to as a "junkie" by many. He was a truly troubled boy and upon his death his mother actually broke down in tears asking me what it was that she had done wrong.

I never felt as helpless as I did that day when I had absolutely no explanation to give her why he had decided his life wasn't worth living any longer. I knew how I felt deep down but I certainly couldn't tell her that the things she was telling me would have sent up a red flag in my mind making me think that he might be asking for help. What good would it do? Who would it have helped? I hope that somehow, someday, she will understand and believe that she really did do all that she knew how to do. So every month I will continue to give her a little hug and a peck on the cheek and when she's done paying I'll of course invite her to continue to come by and have a coffee with me when she's in the area; just to talk.

1 comment:

MedStudentWife said...

You are truely a gentleman and another really rare beautiful person