I could never touch his waxy face,
sunken, yet familiar. Painted
and preserved with formalin,
his blood exchanged with chemicals.
His nose and ears seemed larger than in life
since cartilage will never shrink like flesh.
I held you, mother when you bended down
and kissed him — you caressed his cheek.
I had never seen such tenderness
between the two of you before.
You said goodbye and then I realized
that as the only son: it will be me –
and I will fail you now like he.
He always said that,”afterwards it is too late,
forgiveness might be said
but not received by silent graves”.
That’s why the church was empty
and his chipboard coffin cheap.
Flowers was a waste for funerals,
and there were few that were allowed
to say goodbye;
it was his — only — wish.
His rage had waned into the night.
Afterwards — we sat and talked.
and realized that loneliness is different,
when even phone-lines have gone dead.
I know the things that went unsaid,
but still I think it was the day,
that day I finally became a man.
At Toads today Corey tells us how he was affected by his daughter’s wedding and asks us to tell of similar events. My father died almost 20 years ago, but I still recall his funeral very vividly. My father was not always treated fairly and he was not always to live with, because of all his anger. He is the only dead person I ever seen, and it was actually very difficult to live by his wishes to wave convention and go with a very simple funeral. But there are different ways to show respect.
November 28, 2014