little black funeral dress

My funeral dress has gotten a lot of work over the past year. Yes, I have a funeral dress, just like Sugar Bear has a funeral shirt. It’s sort of like that little-black-dress every woman has in her closet, except this one, while black, is very neutral and understated, and perfectly suited to most funerals with a jacket or shawl or sweater thrown over the shoulders.

I didn’t buy it to wear to funerals, I bought it thinking I would have a nice dress to go out in once and awhile, but I rarely go anywhere anymore besides work that suggests dressing up. Except funerals. Three in the past year alone, and going to a fourth tonight, for Dan the quarterback, who finally lost his cancer battle. As I reflect, I realize I’ve been to a lot more funerals than weddings in this life, which is a bit sad. But it’s yet another cycle in this life to acknowledge, feel, and move through.

As Fall approaches and it’s already markedly darker and colder than even a month ago, I say goodbye to Summer. I am very much a Summer person. I sort of feel like I have a mad, passionate affair with Summer that is teasingly brief every year, heightened in its sweaty, humid intensity, building to a climax that shudders quickly and completely to a halt as Fall tends to arrive suddenly and coldly, as if someone threw you, clothes and all, into a cold shower in an old-wives-tale attempt to sober you up. This was actually done to me as part of a film role once, and it is really not fun. I try to welcome Fall as best I can. I feel like Fall is someone I have a love/hate relationship with. Sometimes I’m caught off guard by moments of Fall’s beauty, and the light can be amazing. And Thanksgiving, being an avid home cook, is one of my favorite holidays. But I can’t stand being cold, which I am most of the time come September 1 due to my shitty circulation, and my bones start to ache. My arthritis is always a little worse in the Fall. Winter is my staunchest enemy. I’ve tried to love it, ignore it, find pleasure in it, but really it’s a miserable time for me. If I could stay indoors the entirety of winter and order in everything I need, I might like it ok. The whole looking out the window at the snow thing can be nice, but it’s rare I’m inside looking out at it unless I am contemplating how many accidents there are on the highway on the way to work this morning, and how I hope not to be one of them. Spring is someone I want to like, who I sometimes like, but with whom I don’t have enough in common to really develop into a solid loving relationship. Spring for me is like someone you really don’t like who occasionally brings you great presents, so you can’t help but like them a little bit, but only sometimes. The rest of the time Spring is like a house guest who has overstayed their welcome and you just want them to LEAVE ALREADY. And then we cycle back to Summer, and I am happy again.

Yoga helps some. It centers my mind and makes me feel, momentarily, like it doesn’t matter that I am a speck of nothing in the universe, but at the same time makes me feel a part of every living thing. It makes me want to love people more, and be more open to the world, even if it is giving me cold and snow and rain, so that I experience everything and don’t miss a thing. Time is increasingly fleeting and more friends and friends-of-friends are taken by the Grim Reaper each year. But is he really grim? Or just doing his job.

Move through. Feel it. Experience it. Let it come over you, wash through you, and be gone. You cannot go around, only through.

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