Thursday, February 12, 2009


I am down in the southwest corner of the state, where I have come for tomorrow's funeral for my second stepmother's mother. I'm in my brother's living room, using his laptop ~ awake, as usual, long after everyone else.

Earlier this evening I spent about an hour at the visitation. I had forgotten to take into account that it might be difficult to be in a funeral home.

Lots of family there, people I have known my entire life. I had also forgotten to take into account that everyone would look different to me than they did six months ago. It's not them, of course. It's my vision. It's like looking out at a world populated by aliens. But the alien, I suppose, is me.

It's hard to explain. But my entire orientation has shifted. I stood there making small talk with my lawyer uncle and his son, my lawyer cousin, about the worldwide economic situation, and my cousin acknowledged several times, in deference to my new reality, that we need to keep things in perspective. How would we do that? I wondered to myself. My half-brother is also a lawyer, and I am a lawyer. Maybe if we got all of us into one place, we could figure out what kind of perspective we should have.

After the funeral tomorrow there will be a Methodist church luncheon. The last time I went to an after-the-funeral-luncheon-in-a-rural-church was four years ago, after my third-stepmother died. The church ladies had produced dozens of the most amazing pies and cakes.

Banana cream pies after a funeral. I'm trying to figure out what that might mean. And also the economy. And death, the relentless predator.

I wonder how the people who survived the medieval plagues retained their sanity. I'm betting that it was an elusive commodity.


Heather said...

I love the way your words give me perspective..I wish you lived next door..

love and strength during this time, it cant be easy..too much too soon..

much love Hx

Magdalene6127 said...

I don't know how they survived... I don't know how we survive.

Love to you.

mompriest said...

Prayers for you this day....prayers indeed.

Jennifer said...

I think sanity is elusive, even under the best of circumstances.
I think you're one of the sanest.

Sarah S-D said...

just caught up here, dear one. sorry to have gotten behind. still sending love.

Rev SS said...

What Jennifer said.

Stratoz said...

Plagues now and then. I sat watching a black male play jazz violin last night, pondering you and my other friends, and thinking about the odds parents have here in the suburbs and only miles away in Philadelphia. I imagine the person, who stuck a violin in his hand, helped him to survive. I want to believe this as much as I want all of us to heal.