Tuesday, December 13, 2005

claiming the possessions of the dead

it seems so crass.

and yet, there is something to be said for wanting something to clutch to your chest when you remember....

i want a few of his shirts and his copy of the china study. it seems that everyone wants something of his, though. i can make do with my memories.

i miss him. i wish i could pick up the phone and tell him that.

it really hurts.

i guess that's a given, but it helps to type it anyway.

Friday, December 09, 2005

my papa died yesterday.

you're going to have to bear with me, because this is kind of the first time i've ever had to deal with death or grief.

he sort of took over dad duty after i stopped speaking to my father at the age of fourteen. he taught me how to drive. about a year ago he read the china study, which convinced him to adopt a vegan diet. since then we have traded recipes and pointers. he really liked kashi crackers (otherwise known as "tacos") but his kroger didn't carry them.

he also opposed the iraq war and many of the bush administration's policies. very often i would call him and we would engage in wonderful political discourse.

i think the only human on this planet who could pray harder than him is my granny.

when i was a kid i would spend the night, or a week over at their house and we would sit in the dark living room, the news flashing on the television screen. (sometimes it was gunsmoke or unsolved mysteries). he would peel me an orange and i would sit on his lap in the recliner.

he was born with eleven toes.

when his loved ones died they came to him in his dreams.

my younger uncle looks just like him.

he had a beautiful singing voice, but he used it to preach. a very rich, deep tone. i'm certain that his very favorite posession was his bible.

yesterday i went out to their house to be with family. i was the first one there. i made his bed and cleaned up his room since company was coming, hung up shirts he won't wear again in the closet. had a minor breakdown when i saw his wallet on the bedside table. and then gran showed up and saw his shoes and she sat in her recliner and lost it. my aunt collapsed on her knees and they held a prayer meeting.

i did what i could to help clean up (the water was out -- my uncle spent the majority of the evening out back trying to fix it) and just listen and talk and play with my little cousin.

tonight i saw his body and it still seems unreal. how could you not want, expect him to just sit up and talk to you?

i know that most people have experienced this before becoming almost twenty-seven. perhaps grief is immune to cliche.
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