the coffin is hidden
and mourners’ stories
pour like libations
I must remember
to put the bins out tonight
I am not normally one to analyse or give background to my own poetry, rather, letting the reader engage with the text and draw her/his own conclusions. However, this poem requires some background lest I am thought to be callous.
Today was the funeral of my maternal grandfather, B. D. Paull, aged 92.
I was asked to give a brief eulogy on behalf of the grandchildren, so I wrote it and prepared to deliver it. I lasted only a line and a half before I cracked and didn’t get much further than the end of the first paragraph. My brother came to my rescue and helped read it (I loathe public speaking; I prefer writing the words to delivering them).
I mean no disrespect. I believe I honoured and respected my late grandfather in the eulogy.
What struck me today was the “normalcy” that the remainder of the day required. As a congregation we shared a meal after the service, told each other stories, came home and dealt with the daily tasks. And yes, tonight is bin night in my neighbourhood.
Death is an ending, a cycle of life we have become detached from, much like the birthing process. We see it, and experience it, but are removed from it.
I honour my grandfather and cherish the memories I have of him, and respect the physical objects of his in my possession: his signet ring and hat. I will mourn and grieve and go about my daily chores. But I will never forget.