But Daigo finds out that he is offering a valuable service to the community. During the laying out (which is done in view of the bereaved), all sorts of emotions come out, helping them to deal with the loss of their loved one.
One scene is very striking: the mother of Daigo's childhood friend dies, and he insists on viewing through the glass of the cremation oven. The oven is turned on, and he cries and he repeats to his mother that he is sorry, over and over again.
Death and regret go hand in hand, it seems. Once that final threshold is crossed, there is no going back. You can't say the things you still wanted to say. You can't do the things you still wanted to do. It goes both ways: the living can't reach the dead anymore, and the dead... well, they're dead.
So two days later I found a link to a list of the five most common regrets of the dying, which really hit home. I think I'm OK with most of them, but I have to work harder on point 4. I have (had) very good friends that I just have fallen out of touch with. I need to re-connect with them, if I don't want to end up regretting it.
One of those friends that I haven't had contact with for quite some time is rupertdaily. I met him during my first year of university: we did M1 together. I introduced him to roleplaying, and we spent many evenings (and nights) in his room talking about all sorts of things. He was one of my best men at our wedding -- that's how close we were.
After the death of his girlfriend, he wanted more of our life than we were prepared to offer -- and he was a bit of an 'all or nothing'-guy. So it turned into no contact at all. We were OK with that -- occasionally he would post a photo that I commented on, or he would comment on an entry of mine. But nothing substantial.
Today, I got a weird phonecall from the office. I was in the car, on the way back from a customer. It was someone whose name I did not recognise, it was personal and it was about a common friend. So I shrugged and tell the receptionist to put it through. It turned out to be P., and he told me that Rupert had died this Monday. The cremation is this Saturday.
So, that's one door that has been closed forever. But I owe it to myself (if not to rupertdaily) to reconnect with all the others that have somehow fallen by the wayside of my life. During the writing of this entry, I was called by JP -- rupertdaily and me played in his wife's Amber campaign, lo these many moons ago. I haven't spoken with them for ages either. I'll be seeing them (and some others from that time) this Saturday too. A good moment to pick up those friendships again.