Tuesday, May 24, 2011
On the Loss of My Beloved Big Brother
In the still and chilly parlor, they placed your body amidst a sea of petals; with hundreds of empty seats before you; with air and solemn music flowing – possibly from the vents. And life was at such a standstill for those of us that had arrived – just us four at first, bearing witness to what the others would come to see. We huddled like displaced orphans, in a cluster not far from the casket, too stunned even to speak; too stricken even to let out a whimper, at least for the moment. And in time we were moved to action, arranging things to suit you best; working to give ourselves distraction; wanting our love for you to be on display. We twisted the towering wreaths so that the roses could confront the crowd. And our family soon appeared in a mass of hesitant black, with the elders leading the group like priests guiding a pilgrimage. And as they ventured forward, staggering and gasping for breath, the group disassembled in the aisles and there were tears everywhere.