Monday, October 16, 2017

ways of saying goodbye

i went to a funeral recently. it was someone who i had served on a board with, not a close friend, but someone i liked and enjoyed spending time with. not all that long ago, she got a cancer diagnosis and it was aggressive and swift, clearly leaving her husband of 57 years and family reeling. she was the type to be organized and plan everything, so the funeral, which she planned herself, was truly beautiful - the songs she had chosen poignant, the way her family carried her casket out to the gravesite and and how it was lowered down in the grave while patsy cline's version of just a closer walk with thee, was played on a tinny old tape player from the 80s. patsy's dulcit tones on that old player were somehow perfect and i even got tears in my eyes as we stood there on a sunny, beautiful autumn day in a picture postcard-worthy little churchyard in denmark. 

it hit me as i stood there at the funeral, tears in my eyes, that i hadn't had the same opportunity with my dad. he died so suddenly and my work life was in such turmoil at that point, that i felt i had to keep my commitment to a big event that was going to go on with or without me. and at the time, i felt strongly that it was what my dad would have wanted me to do. i still feel that. but it means that i missed his memorial service and the funereal shedding of tears that would surely have accompanied it. last may, we buried his ashes in his plot at the cemetery, but i was a beautiful, sunny day and so much time had gone by, there was less sorrow in the moment. my sister and i had had a fantastic road trip with his two best friends and his ashes a day or so before the ceremony, and so putting what remained in the ground was on some level closure without tears. plus, i had a little jar of his ashes tucked into my suitcase, so i knew it wasn't final final. maybe when i eventually sprinkle those on my garden, i will shed the tears i undoubtedly need to shed.

* * *

karl ove knausgaard on never running out of things to write about.

* * *

swedish death cleaning
"it's like marie kondo but with an added sense of the transience and futility of this mortal existence."

* * *

i'm not the only one who has noticed that we can't talk anymore.

No comments: