Of all the things I suck at - of which there are MANY - handling goodbyes is one of them. I HATE saying goodbye - I don't have the ability to attain closure. When I have left jobs in the past, I have been known to sneak out to avoid saying goodbye to coworkers.
So you can imagine how well I do at funerals. Attending services today I felt more numb then anything - especially since it was religiously focused which meant nothing to me. As we then made our way to the cemetary for the burial, it became more real - and when the Honor Guard folded the flag and solemnly and sincerely presented it to the widow - that was when it really began to hit me.
At the reception afterwards, I was doing fine until suddenly -almost without warning - I had this moment of overwhelming anxiety and sadness and had to get away - right then.
I headed back to work and DOVE into some paperwork but I felt disconnected... Even though I used to INSIST that I am not an emotional eater I can't deny that anymore as there have been too many times - including today - when my desire to find food and chow down was clearly being driven by wanting to avoid feelings and focus on the physical experience of eating as a distraction.
I got home and used my apparent OTHER addiction to help me get through. I grabbed Archer and we ran. It took about 4 miles but I felt some peace and perspective start to descend on me. I know that he is out of pain and while he will be missed, his memory - his contribution to the world - that will never be erased.