I had to pull out the black silk blouse today.
Most women reading this immediately know what that means. For those who don't: many women have a "funeral outfit." A black dress, shirt, suit or sweater we only use for funerals, or routinely wear with something bright red but for funerals is worn with other black and white clothes. Usually we get no advance notice for needing mourning clothes, so we have something in the back of the closet we can whip out when needed.
Today I had out the dreaded black silk blouse. This time it helped me mark the loss of a relative who was a friend; a woman with a great sense of humor and an easy laugh who was loved by her children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and so very much by her husband of over forty years.
At the funeral this morning, my cousin, her husband, shook my husband's hand and hugged him. My husband was then directed, in no uncertain terms, to hug me every day, and whenever possible, dance with me. "Don't forget," my cousin said again when we were leaving, "dance with her. Whenever you get the chance."
He's right, and we will do our best not to forget. You never know when the people we love suddenly won't be there, and we won't get to dance together again.
So, call. Send a quick email. Hug. Tell someone how much they mean to you now, before the black blouses make their appearance.
"Dance with her."