seattle has been muggy for the past few days. it’s a stagnant warmth that hits you when you walk outside. our apartment door, with its old wood, swells in the humidity. layer upon layer of paint sticking to the door frame like glue.
yesterday i stood outside of a catholic parish while warm rain sprinkled down through sunshine. it wasn’t typical of seattle, much like the current weather. it reminded me instead of arizona. my co-workers and i were there to honor a loyal donor. her empty hearse waited silently out front. nearby family dressed in black gathered, embraced and even laughed. babies were squeezed. children in blue uniforms walked in single file lines from the school across the street.
the woman in front of us told us to make sure and get our party favor. a basket full of hand lotions was there for the taking. aunt susie loved a good party, and she wanted to make sure her last party had party favors.
i was eager to see the inside of this church. i have been inside catholic churches in many states and countries and love their detail, history and grandeur. this church was much simpler than what i was expecting. we walked passed the casket to see the small woman in a beautiful gown. her favorite box of nuts & chews were with her.
we filled a pew in the back. with not a catholic among us, throughout the service we compared portions of the service with our own faiths. we attempted to sing from the gather hymnal. we stood but remained silent while others recited responses. and we watched the procession leave to the promise that she’ll be raised up and made to shine like the sun.
*Vonnegut’s well-known phrase “so it goes”, used ironically in reference to death, originated in slaughterhouse-five.