Making Arrangements

This morning I successfully backed the car out of the driveway (thank you neighbors) and into a still-unplowed street.  I accompanied my sister to the funeral home so she could make arrangements for my brother.

All I will say about this…  And it’s still hard to find the right words.

My contribution was to dress the man.

My whole life I have maintained  sense of pride in my appearance.  My body may never be in the shape I’d ever be proud of; perhaps that’s why I am so keen to dress nicely.  Clothes make the man, they say, and my clothing says “don’t look at my gut, or my narrow shoulders, or my lovehandles, or…”

My brother could have cared less.  This is not to say he ever wanted to appear like a slob.  It just never seemed to bother him.

Well, I couldn’t let him go out without offering my signature style.

And perhaps this is how some of us deal with grief.  In a way, I wanted to give my brother something that I knew.  I wanted to dress him so that when he was laid out for our mom and dad, our siblings, our friends he would turn heads.  At the very least I wanted people to see in him the man God gave us in as much earthly glory as we could bring together for him.  You see, God doesn’t care what he’s wearing.  But these earthly remains still need to be treated with respect.

Clothes make the man.

I chose a sharp gray woolen jacket, crisp white shirt, awesome navy blue patterned tie, and my favorite, the orange pocket square.  Why orange?  Well, he was a Philadelphia Flyers fan.  I hate the Flyers.  It took a lot for me to choose that particular pocket square but I know he’s probably laughing at me for it.

And the rest of the day?  Uneventful.  Kids played in the snow and I wrote an obituary.

Just your ordinary Monday.


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