inside out

31 08 2008

I grabbed a handful of fresh dirt and rubbed on top of his casket. Like putting a period at the end of a sentence.  That was the only way to finish it all off. 

 I’m surprised they didn’t have the mound covered with the pseudo- grass pretending to think that the earth didn’t have a big, naked yawning gap in it the shape of a coffin.  I like those interments that are really interring something…lowering the body into the grave. Yes, it’s hard to watch but it is what it is.

When I saw myself in these scenes as I replayed them with each north-south jaunt it felt different.  Maybe its been the years of decline that weathered it all like Lake Michigan driftwood.  The rough sand and pounding surf rounded out all the sharp – grayed up the deep colors.  I need to see it played out on a huge screen, sitting in the darkness surrounded by strangers eating popcorn- to feel it. 

The wail of the bagpiper – the somber processional transported me to some small church in the Highlands, some windswept hilltop grave.   Words whispered to my mom by one of the dwindling number of the Greatest Generation – I wondered if he thinks about what his widow will look like with her trembling hands outstretched as the triangle is entrusted to her.  The soft leather of the interior of the limo – being that car you see and wondering what it feels like to be inside it.  

Engraved forever in my mind the faces of the grandsons standing behind the flag draped oak box. The cacophony of memories leaking out of their eyes – jaws set. What we all really wanted was for no one to be there with us – we wanted to weep like our hearts were telling us to but ceremony dictated otherwise.  

Did you know that in the jewish practice of shiva the mourner is under no obligation to engage in conversation and may, in fact, completely ignore his visitors?  That feels right.  There were inquiries and comments that felt like I was being slapped awake from a dream for no good reason. People tend to keep their distance if grief is openly expressed –  but since I wasn’t sobbing – they thought I was open for business as usual.  The whole time I was wondering if someone was getting their feelings hurt – why should I be worrying about you at my father’s funeral?  

So now on to the business of living.  I will find my space to cry my tears how and when I want to. There is a porch in Michigan that is waiting…wishing we (beedub3club) were there tonight as the lightening bugs start to blink their on and off message that Billy is with us, all around us and he’ll never let us go.  

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3 responses

31 08 2008
1eyedmonkee

to our holy eastern brethren – although we fully respect your discipline and example of keeping the sabbath, we have recently come upon a theological loophole that permits us all to participate in koinonia by religiously reading this blog on Sunday- after services and prayers of course. Sincerely, “the management” (pitu and the 1eyedmonkee)

31 08 2008
Amy Jo

Amen and amen.

10 11 2008
my island in the sun « 1eyedmonkee

[…] already sung the Navy Hymn at the church…so we waited in silence graveside as the flag was ceremoniously folded and respectfully placed into my mother’s outstretched […]

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