I was asked to come and cover this reception and memories of Raymond Delorey today. Raymond died last week at the age of 59; an active, vibrant man still working and living life to the fullest.
Before I have even seen the family; I'm feeling the miniature eruptions of grief within me,
I'm not good at facing death with a stiff upper lip and I am not sure why we should. I think it may be better to cry freely at our losses.
Every time I hear of a death-even one that only touches my life in a very small way-it opens up the wounds of every loss I have ever incurred and makes me think of the grief that I know the family is suffering.
This man; father, husband, grandfather and friend to many, died suddenly and unexpectedly. It's never easy to deal with grief and being here in the capacity of work hasn't made it any more so.
I feel crushed and as the people who attended the funeral begin to enter the hall- I can't look at them without swallowing tears for what they have lost.
I really don't know how I'm going to do my job today.
As I sat getting ready to listen to the eulogy someone I knew asked me where I was working these days and I in turn told her what I was doing and in what capacity I was at the service. She suggested that I could talk to the older gentleman I was seated next to; he had worked with Raymond for over 40 years.
A few minutes after I turned on the tape both the man and myself were crying and I just had to turn it off. I said, “ I just can't do this job today.”
The woman asked me if I had known Raymond well; I get so upset at these events it would be an easy assumption to make, but in fact knew him but in passing. I know his daughter, his wife, his daughter-in-law, his grandchildren- but also just as acquaintances.
My grief is for them; for the place that is now and forever vacant in their lives. I know that loss and nothing makes it better- you just learn to live with part of your soul amputated.