Friday, August 3, 2012

house of mourning

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

I came from work pretty much, finding my way to a small funeral home on Lorain wondering at first what I was doing here, until there were some familiar faces. I'm so used to the Catholic way of doing this things, but someone sang a gospel song and then a couple pastors spoke and everyone fanned themselves with their programs and babies cried, the place was packed out with family and friends. I wondered if there was any point in being there, but as I talked to the few I did know, I realized that sometimes just being there, being willing to listen and sometimes hug, might be what the point of this is. These are for the living after all.

It's hard for me to look at the despirited body like an empty shell, and her family crying in the front row, we return to the church for a meal and then people sing her favorite songs and tell stories and remember her. People talk about her garden and the way she played the guitar and her struggles that are now over. There's a whole tapestry of family history unfurling in front of me, and being somewhat outside the immediate orbit, I wish now that I could have celebrated with her more in life than remembering what little scraps I have after she's gone.

There's a part of me that's still extremely shy and somewhat skittish, I don't even know where to start with people sometimes, and I don't know if the invitations of hospitality are true or just talk, and in her case it seems they were true. It's been a week, maybe even a summer of grieving for a lot of people in my world, losing friends and their friends losing kids, and kids losing parents. I look at her parents and wonder what it's like to bury a daughter. It makes me realize that I need to love more, that somewhere in the last few years I've lost some of the generous spirit that I once had, because getting burned will do that, but to do more, be more, than I was.

1 comment:

  1. Those situations are always awkward/difficult, even when it's the closest part of one's circle.

    Yeah, you're so stingy. I don't know anyone as hard on themselves as you are.