Here's my weekend plan: I am meeting Spouse at 4 pm so that we can go to a wake. Then tomorrow we go to a funeral, followed by a get-together at the family's house. Spouse has this close friend, SkinnyGuy, whom he has been friends with since high school. And SkinnyGuy's father died this week of cancer.
I think it was Profgrrrrl who said that she had never been to a funeral. I go to many of them. Mostly this is because Spouse and I both live in our hometown. When you've known someone since high school, and his parent dies, and you live in town, you go to the funeral. Many of my high school friends moved far away and they have to fly in when a parent dies. I always go to those funerals. Because often an old friend's current friends can't be at the funeral because they live in some other town far away. But those of us who stayed in town, those of us who mostly now communicate with a holiday card once a year, we show up at the funeral to share stories about the old friend's parents, to reminisce about high school days. And it's nice to renew the friendship, even if it's just for a day or two.
No matter how urban and sophisticated one of my old friends has become, I know that once she is surrounded by old high school friends, comforting her because a parent has died, she will in a flash revert to her adolescent self - talking, giggling, crying, vulnerable. No one ever really leaves their hometown.