One of my favorite things about living in New York City is the endless supply of serendipitous sightings I witness of other people and their lives.
Just today, I experienced one that really tug at my heart strings (yeah, I’m a total sap, okay?).
This morning, on my way to my local coffee shop, I passed the church at my nearest intersection–an outdated, light pink facade that I walk by regularly–only to be confronted by a crowd painted a heavy black color. I nearly stopped dead in my tracks and held my stomach; it’s completely shocking and equally tragic to witness a stranger’s funeral as it is to attend a familiar one. The family and friends crowded the entire sidewalk and surrounding block of the church, I felt guilty passing by in my casual Friday gear, on my way to have a luxurious day off indulging in coffee and slow reading. I walked on the street, out of a sense of respect, I suppose. As I passed by, I caught the sight of an old man in a wheelchair, at the front of the group, and I knew I was seeing the face of a man who had just lost his wife. I couldn’t help but cry. I wondered how long they had been married, how they had met, how many children they had, how she died… Granted, I really don’t know what the situation is. It could have been the man’s brother, or (God forbid) a daughter or a son… Regardless, I was completely shocked to find how easily I was personally affected by the scene. I admit I said a small prayer for them in my head as I walked away. For me, it was just a passing moment, but for them, it’s a whole life completely changed.