Saturday, August 25, 2007

Courtney Cox Was at My Brother's Funeral, and I'm Not Sure How to Feel About It

I'd been wondering what we'd do exactly, at the funeral. My family isn't religious, and what little I knew about funerals had to do with ashes and holy water and God. We talked about a small graveside service, but what did that mean? What would we say? For the first time in my life, I understood religion's real world, practical purpose: it gives you a script when everything becomes so horrible you don't know what to do.

We did good, though. Close family friends Sam and RJ spoke lovely words about Kyle, and Dorian sang the most ridiculously powerful version of No Woman No Cry, leaving the whole place sobbing and muttering - to each other, to themselves, like zombies - "Everything's gonna be alright. Everthing's gonna be alright."

I realized then, also for the first time, the real world, practical purpose of singers. They're not supposed to be moaning, jiggling, thirteen year old virgins. They're not supposed to catalog their wealth in unimaginative rhyme. They're supposed to bring people to their knees. They're supposed convey a desperation that can't be spoken. Their voices break with emotion but then recover, their faces twist the way our hearts do. And in all the misery, they are the only ones with the rhythm of a beat and the structure of a melody.

So then the funeral ended and I'm not sure what really happened next. I was crying with my head down, people were touching my shoulder and back, pulling me up to hug me and setting me back down. I had somehow ended up at my brother's funeral without a tissue, so my face was covered in snot, and I was sort of wishing that everyone would just leave. A reception was to follow, they could touch me then. After I'd washed my face.

And then, someone took my hand. I looked up.

It was Courtney Cox.

She looked amazing. Very small - I could've wrapped my hand around her waist - and tough. She was wearing these stilettos and we were on grass, and anyone who's tried knows that heels just punch right through sod, so that with each step you're burying and unearthing the back half of your shoe. But Courtney Cox? She hovered on the grass. Through steely determination or the clenching of an exact combination of muscles, I don't know. But she rocked that graveside.

"I'm so sorry for your loss." She squeezed my hand, I thanked her, and she went on to my mother.

For the short time she stood in front of me, though, I stopped crying. My brother is dead, we're burying him, I look up, and there is tiny Friends megastar Courtney Cox in black and stilettos, floating above the grass, staring out of her sunglasses and into mine with sadness and sympathy while the briefest, most inappropriate giggle tickles my stomach. It was weird.

I'm glad she was there, though. Of course famous people came to my brother's funeral. He was awesome.


whimspot said...

"For the first time in my life, I understood religion's real world, practical purpose: it gives you a script when everything becomes so horrible you don't know what to do."

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