The funeral has passed, it was a nice event, but I will write about it when the dust settles. Sometimes experiences are too near to describe them, it's like when you wake up from a dream and the memories appear jumbled at first, but then the mind organizes the images into a coherent narrative so that the dream appears to have a story, when in reality it is a collection of images and sensations that--if reported accurately--would make no sense because it lacks structure.
Things make sense looking back not because it made sense at the time, but because we've taken the time to make sense of them. All the details that are irrelevant to the current situation fade away, and the details that are connected to the present stand out.
The day before the funeral I saw my family. Before meeting up I was worried about seeing everyone, for the last six months the only person with whom I've interacted in any meaningful way is my grandmother, and I had the sensation I could have become a strange person. But we always worry needlessly, I was myself, I think, a bit more sentimental than usual, perhaps even more myself than when I arrived.
After the initial greetings and hugs my family asked me how I was doing. I said I was doing fine, that I had learned a lot, that it never ceases to be challenging. My father remarked that what I've been through sure has been good training for marriage, I laughed and said I've thought about it, that when before I left I explained to my father that I had broke up with my girlfriend because she would get mad at me for no good reason and that suddenly I found myself in a situation where I had the same experience multiplied exponentially, but in this situation I couldn't just walk away. My father laughed whole-heartedly, as I did myself, and one of my aunts remarked "oh goodness, you laugh just the same!" and when we recognized our laughs in each other we couldn't stop laughing.
Later in the day we went visiting the places where my aunts and uncles grew up, in Point Claire. It was a suburb of Montreal, and I thought how strange to grow up in such a "normal" place and yet all of them are so unique. After we were done visiting we went to the village's main strip to find a place for lunch.
My father said that I seemed to want to say something important when he remarked that it was good training for marriage, I responded by saying I felt I had already said what I wanted, and after a moment of silence I added that perhaps I was worried I had become too strange to be dateable.
My life experience has taken me off the usual path people walk, so I feel I will no longer be able to relate to anyone. We become what we experience, and when the collection of our experiences becomes too eclectic, the character it forms in us becomes... strange. Though I see the holes in this reasoning, it is more of a sensation of inadequacy for dating than an actual impediment.
My father answered that he saw the opposite, I can't recall the words he said, but he made me feel comfortable with myself, that I was a desireable mate, that I didn't have to "settle down" and become a normal person to form a life-time relationship with a woman.
My father is a strange person himself. He has a long list of inner and outer accomplishments, yet is the most humble person I know. So his words were balm to the soul.