Carolyn L. Braun (

Sometimes you need to go …


More and more, I find myself reading obituaries of people I know … friends, acquaintances, relatives, etc. I suppose it’s just natural as one gets older. As a consequence, there are more wakes and funerals to consider attending. Neither of these are my favorite thing to do … ever since our daughters funeral many years ago.

This week the obituaries contained the name of our long-ago neighbor. My sister and I saw two of her sons last week and commented about how we loved listening to their mother – who had a wonderful British accent (although she always said she didn’t have an accent). Little did we know, she would pass the next day and we would never hear that accent again.

Last night, on the way to our Needlecraft Group meeting, we decided to stop at the wake for our neighbor. She lived about a half block from our house. I used to be friends with her daughter, who is one year older than me. I hadn’t seen her since high school – in over 50 years. I was hoping she would be there. She was – and I recognized her in an instant. Not so with me, however. After re-introducing myself, we had a wonderful chat. She was so pleased that we came.

Soon other neighbors arrived – also neighbors of long ago. Many of the places where we lived are now gone but … the old neighborhood was together again. You could feel the tension of the wake melt away. You could feel the change in the atmosphere. You could feel the sunshine. Most importantly, you could feel and see the pleasure and joy on the faces of rhe family members. And Ivy (the neighbor who died) was pleased, too.

The moral of the story: Sometimes you just need to go to a wake. It’s not only the right thing to do; it is the best thing you can do for everyone involved – you included.

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