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If you look at the bright sky and the golden trees, the fall of light and leaves in the park it is easy to think - what a lovely day.

And if you look at these people who gathered in front of the statue of Ghandi to speak and bring mementos of her life - photos and flowers and things that reminded us of her (several portraits of Tito, cigarettes and red lipstick)- it is easy to think, how lovely. It is exactly as she wanted it. (Except she would have wanted less praise. She was always so uncomfortable with being the centre of attention or flattery).

It was a beautiful memorial, and I am so glad that we got the chance to say goodbye.

But it is still painful to see that this vibrant, vivid woman has become two handfuls of ash.

And it is beyond devastating to watch an eighty year old woman mourn her child. To see the weight of her sorrow etched in every line of her frame, like a sackful of stones she is carrying. (And to remember a kitchen table long ago, and a woman somewhat like that one and the surprisingly physical weight of grief).

Thank you for coming, she says. Thank you all, so much for coming.
Thank you for your daughter, we reply.
I was so glad to have her. I was so happy she was mine, she sighs. And now, I will grieve for her.

And that's the point where I break inside, because I know exactly what she is saying. The dual joy and anxiety of love, of motherhood- of our children who reshape our hearts in their images and snatch them away.

It is heartbreaking to watch any mother bury a child and to know that there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
minnesattva
Oct. 26th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
Watching parents bury their child ranks among the saddest things I have ever seen.

It sounds as lovely an occasion as these things can be, though, and I'm glad you got the chance to say good-bye, too.
rainsinger
Oct. 26th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
*hugs to you for your own losses and griefs*
minnesattva
Oct. 26th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC)
::hugs:: Thank you. Trying not to make this all about me, but the image of the old lady thanking people for coming tore at my heart.
jazzyss2002
Oct. 28th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
I completely agree to minnesattva that Watching parents bury their child ranks among the saddest things I have ever seen. http://www.iflorist.co.uk/c-95-christmas-food-hampers.aspx
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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