About two and a half weeks ago I got horrible news. One of my high school friends died at the age of 23 in Afganistan. He was like a brother to me for years. We grew up in a small town so we knew each other very well. I told my mother who knew him as well and she came straight home from work and we spent a little time grieving together.
After 2 days of sulking about my loss I realized that it isn't what he would have wanted. He would have wanted me to remember all the good times we had together. So I started remembering our choir days and his trickster nature and I started to feel better.
A week later I came down with a horrible flu. I lost my voice, couldn't eat and I was achey all over. That night I dreamed about my friend. When we were young he would laugh at me when I got sick enough to lose my voice. He would make it up to me later but he would laugh. In my dream he was wearing his uniform and I told him I couldn't talk in ASL (American Sign Language which I've been studying). He laughed and gave me a hug. He told me that I'd be better before the funeral. After two days I got my voice back but I was still coughing and sneezing constantly.
The funeral was two weeks after his death. My parents and husband went to be there with me and grieve the loss of a great man. Everyone was wating for the funeral to begin and I spotted some high school friends. I had a better spot to see the procession and get into the service quickly. I invited them over and we sat in silence waiting for the body of our friend to arrive.
It seemed like years passed but the hearse finally pulled into the gates of the veteran's graveyard. I watched it carefully and finally realized that I saw someone sitting on top of the vehicle. As it drew closer I saw that it was a man dressed in an army uniform sitting cross-legged over the coffin. At first I was a little upset that someone would disrespect my friend like that, but then I realized that no one else saw him.
The hearse got closer and I looked at the man's face. Tears rolled out of my eyes as I recognized him. My friend was sitting on top of the hearse that was carrying his body. They took the casket out and he disappeared from the roof of the hearse and appeared on the top of the casket.
After his body entered the building I didn't see his spirit again but I know he was there and trying to comfort his friends and family.