Tuesday, October 06, 2009

An Irish Funeral Prayer

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Hide and Seek

At work today I watched a group of pre-schoolers playing hide and seek in the school yard. Their joy was beyond purity. There were other kids off doing their singular play-time things in the sand box, on the slide and in the play house. There was this one boy, the "it" kid who was running and laughing as he discovered his hiding little friends. Everybody got along. It was at that precise moment that I realized that nothing in life can compare to the security a much loved child feels. Nothing. Their world is solely that. Theirs. They should never know sadness or pain during that precious time when mommy and daddy can fix anything and worry only extends to finding a lost toy or putting a band aid on a boo-boo. Tears should always be easily dried and happy play resumed with that magic kiss that makes it all better.

I mention this today as I grapple with understanding my brother's brutal murder on September 8th. He had two sons - age 2 and 5 - who now have to deal with a loss that will change them forever. Their sense of safety, their understanding of how the world works - annihilated by a psycho's steel blade.

My brother was a big guy. Around 6'4" and 270 pounds. He was soft like a teddy bear. Every night, for the first five years of his life, his son was lulled to sleep as he lay on his father's massive warm chest listening to him breathe, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow would bring new adventures for him and his daddy. 

My brother was a stay at home father and was with his boys through all of their child crises and joys. He was their teacher, playmate and best friend. Their biggest fan. In short, their world. Now their world is gone. How does anyone make sense of that?