My friend’s viewing was tonight. It was incredibly sad, and yet amazing at the same time. My parents, my sister, and I got there literally an hour and 15 minutes after the viewing had started and we still stood in line (in the pouring rain at times) for over an hour just to get into the funeral home. And when we did finally get in, there was still a line behind us with the back of it being where we had been when we first got there. EVERYONE loved this girl. And I mean everyone.
They had pictures of her everywhere you turned inside the funeral home. They had one album filled with pictures of her in high school and I was in quite a few of them. Although I was honored to have been a part of her life at one point, it also made me sad that I didn't keep in touch with her after that. But I know it happens, so what can you do? I could beat myself up over it, but at this point, what good would that do?
Her mom didn't recognize me at first (I really do look completely different from high school) and after I hugged her, she said, "Oh, did you work with her?" I laughed and said, "It's Allison L-------- (maiden name)!" She started laughing, yelled, "Oh for Cripes' sake! Come here! Did you see your pictures out there?" and gave me a huge hug. It was so sweet, and actually kind of funny. I saw almost everyone I knew from high school. And I mean everyone. From every class year before and after us, and from every social group. It was nice seeing some of them, since I haven't seen them since 1991 or so, but also kind of weird. Most of them don't look any different. And I mean AT ALL. Even my sister said after we left that I was the only one that looked even remotely different (not in a bad or good way... just different).
I saw some of our old gang (that used to hang out with Missy), so that was nice. It was just... weird. Really, really weird. It was awesome to see that so many people loved Missy so much. But at the same time, so sad that someone who was SO loved had to die.
It turns out that the autopsy revealed that she had almost complete blockages of her heart... 80%, 80%, and 90%. Just last month she hiked 10 miles in the Grand Canyon with no problems, and her and her boyfriend just built a house together. She woke up the other morning and didn't feel right. She told her boyfriend she had really bad indigestion and was going to lie down a for a bit before work. He got in the shower and when he got out, he thought she was sleeping. When he went to kiss her goodbye, he realized she wasn't breathing. Can you even imagine? And the fact that she had no symptoms up until then just boggles my mind and, frankly, scares the living shit out of me, if you want me to be honest.
Anyway, I'm glad it's over. The bottom line is that it sucked, but at the same time, made me feel glad to have had her in my life, even if just for a few years, ya know? And it reminded me (once again) to cherish every day you’re given and don’t take them for granted. You have no clue when your life is going to end, so spending it being angry, or bitter, or miserable, or unhappy just isn’t worth it. Appreciate your friends… appreciate your family… and appreciate that you still get to wake up every morning. Because that could all change tomorrow.
(And on that note, I promise that there will be no depressing post tomorrow. In fact, I think I’m going to dig out some old high school photos and post them here. Trust me people. You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh really, really hard.)