Sunday, August 21, 2011

in peace

My cousin's wife, the one with cancer, died yesterday. Her memorial is here.

As I've written about before, this whole situation was pretty heartbreaking for me. The idea of dying so young and knowing your children will have to grow up without you, watching your wife or mother die, the fact that her mother died of the same's just terrible. I'm driving to Baton Rouge tomorrow evening after work to attend the wake on Monday night and the funeral on Tuesday morning. I hate funerals. I hate the fact that I have to plan out what I'm going to wear (which feels disrespectful and distasteful in a sense, even though it's necessary). I hate the logistics of it. Something about making death neat and tidy and well-dressed and organized just strikes me as totally fucked. We come in screaming and bloody and we leave nicely dressed in a proper box.

But. I hope it serves well as a memorial to her life and grieving of her death; that it puts her family at peace. I hope her sons and her husband don't remember the face in the coffin, but the face of their beautiful and vibrant mother. I hope that her death doesn't destroy them, but inspires them to live their life in a wonderful way.


  1. "We come in screaming and bloody and we leave nicely dressed in a proper box."

    This goes in your book somewhere.

    I'm so sorry that you have to go through the motions. "I'm sorry for your loss" is a weird thing to say, because when we attend a funeral for someone we didn't know that well, we're really sorry about the funeral itself -- how terrible it must be to have to stand in the line by the coffin, accepting apologies for something that will eventually happen to all of us.

    Funerals are a contradiction to people who loved the deceased, and it remains one until it's over. Really, when someone you love dies, all you want to do is break that calm with an earth-ripping scream, to show every nicely-dressed shithead in the quiet room how fucked up it is that the person in the nice box isn't alive anymore. They probably know how fucked up it is, but you're not convinced unless they're screaming.

    That's how I felt when I had to watch my neighbor's house being gutted by the maintenance guy, all his possessions were dragged out to the road in bags. They took home the valuables to sell them or whatever.

    And when they asked me if I wanted the imported vase since no one else wanted it, I just stood there with my mouth open.

    In a way, a funeral is like that to the family of the deceased, because nothing anyone says will convince you that anyone loved that person more than you did. Nothing is enough, until enough time passes.

    Love you, and I'm sorry you had to deal with something like shopping for a funeral when you're grieving. The family is in my thoughts.

  2. This made me tear up a little. I love you too. And, thank you.