Nothing much happened in the markets yesterday. Which is a good thing. We’re too exhausted to reckon with it.
We went to a funeral yesterday. Dead people wear us out. They are like debt. They don’t just go to their graves and disappear. There’s always more to the story. They leave debts…accounts with the living that must be settled.
“Did I tell you about my friend Nancy?” mother began as we were passing through Cumberland, Maryland, on the long drive to the funeral ceremony.
“She was married to Don…who was a Methodist minister. But the poor girl drove up to Cumberland every weekend. Her mother was awful and her father needed her. At least, that is what she told me.
“Don got tired of being left alone every weekend. So he found another woman named Nancy. He divorced the first Nancy and married the second one.
“Then the first Nancy was on her own. She kept trying to help her parents… Really, I think she was trying to protect her father from her mother. And finally, her mother died. And everybody thought how relieved the father must be. Finally, he was free of that terrible woman.
“But he went to her funeral, caught a cold, and he was dead two weeks later. It was as if the mother had reached up from the grave and pulled him in with her.
“I’m 90 years old now…and I’m close enough to the dead to know how they work. They may die. But they don’t go away… They’re still with us. Which is usually a very good thing.
“You know, my brother says Alice [his recently deceased wife] helps him find things. When he can’t find something in the house, he just takes a deep breath. He says that something…or someone…then tells him where to look. He goes. And he finds what he is looking for.
“He thinks it is Alice helping him. And I know I think your father helps me often…”
“So…what happened to Nancy?” we asked.
“Oh, she was very happy after Don left. And then, the second Nancy died. She went to the funeral. She said it was very satisfying.”
for Markets and Money