Yesterday morning I went to a good friend's mother's funeral. She had been sick for a short time and it had became apparent a few weeks ago that her end was near, so, they said, she had came into terms with her own passing.
Still, her relatives and acquaintances were in that state of shock and disbelief that often surrounds death, and of course, knew that the hard time of mourning and healing was just about to start.
I spent a moment talking to her brother in law, my friend's paternal uncle. We spoke about my friend's son, aged 5, who will be bereft of his favorite grandma and frolicking partner. We spoke about my friend's father, who passed away suddenly at age 44 more than a decade ago, and held his wife as the love of his life. We spoke about her current sentimental partner, who had found peace in their relationship after having raised three daughters on his own and now is devastated. We spoke about my friend, whom I often refer to as spartan - they do as a Prussian soldier, and how she has faced more than a fair share of weathering times. We spoke and drank mate, a symbol of friendship and communion if there ever was one, though I'm not much of a mate drinker myself.
After an hour or so I left - everyday life was calling and it was a Monday morning after all. As the bus rode to my job I felt the familiar stomach cramps I have after having some mate - too harsh for my tea accustomed loins, it seems. Still, it was good to share a mate with the uncle. In spite of those light cramps, it gave some comfort in bereavement.