This may sound pretty unusual, but tomorrow afternoon will be the very first funeral in my whole life that I have ever attended in person. Can you believe that? It will be a good old traditional Dutch funeral with black limousines, a mass with a sermon, some hand-shaking and all that kind of stuff. In fact, until a week ago I had never even seen a deceased person before. Seeing a loved one you have known up close and personal lying like that is no fun. Just a discarded life form which has become discolored and gone away, far far away. To think that I have been spared such a ceremony for more than forty-five years is hard to believe, but it is true. That's part of life you might say, but not yet part of mine. In the distant past when the opportunity had arisen, my parents chose to shelter me from the so-called psychological trauma and distress of having to witness such an event. A learning experience which has been missed? Part of growing up? With so much death and suffering in the world, it has finally caught up with me. It is my turn to be normal like all of the other survivors. I am not looking forward to tomorrow afternoon, but I will go through it anyway with a strong heart and determined outlook for the future.
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