Funeral on a Sunny Day

Drive into town and it’s like nothing has changed
Everyone’s still driving under the speed limit
The breeze brings a calming scent of open fields and cowboy boots
But underneath it all, I sense the dread of what today has brought us
A young life fell to the hands of our worst fears
And now, we come together to memorialize it

In silence, we don the black clothing
In silence, we move into the pews
Some go up to see his face one last time
I can’t do it so I sit down, ashamed that I am so weak
But from my seat, directly in front of me, I can see his face
And I can’t look away
Words are exploding with a vengeance from the pastor
He talks of death but not of my friend
Focus on my toes, crammed into heels too small
Look up
He looks like plastic
He wouldn’t be caught dead in that shirt
All this holy music, the choir bullshit?
Never in a lifetime
And I keep watching, praying for him to jump up
Yell “Fuck you” to the pastor and give everyone the bird
But he doesn’t

As we all leave, half the town wants to drive in the procession
We block off at least a mile or two on the highway
So many cars
In my rear view mirror, I have hit the highway
And cars are still pouring from the chapel parking lot
In the sunny, cool breeze
We gather around the green tent
The sunshine glares miraculously
From his silver resting place
I wipe away my tears in silence,
His mother stands up
And she is so small
Her voice is so faint but the hundred people around quiet
And we can all hear
The cracking in her voice
As she says her final goodbyes
And his brother stands up,
Looks at how many people are here
“Holy shit, Joel knew a lot of people”
He begins to cry and I walk away
I walk away

In the comforting hugs that always follow,
My friends and I are among the last to leave
They all go to eat and reminisce
I just stand there
Looking at the box,
Holding a man so young
And so full of entertainment and honest love

I guess now it’s time to really say goodbye

R.I.P. Joel Neal Janner

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4 thoughts on “Funeral on a Sunny Day

  1. It truly was an awesome sight to see the amount of love and support Joel’s family had. I swear half the town was there. Standing room only in the chapel and there were still people in the foyer and outside the chapel.

  2. Who are you? I am his ex-wife… was just wondering who was writing this about him. I like it and I would like to have a copy to put in Kash’s scrapbook… funny thing about that picture- i bought that shirt for him… and oh, how much truth that t-shirt holds….

    • I’m a just a friend of his from Brenham. We weren’t that close but man, he knew how to make my day with just a few sentences. Coolest snickerdoodle ever.
      I would be delighted if you wanted to put that in there. 🙂 That boy’s gonna grow up with a whole town to support him.

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