Thursday, January 10, 2008

The morning his wife died

Via Scott Pack at The Friday Project (my UK publisher), I was alerted to this blog entry from another Irishman (or of Irish descent living in London) John Lenahan who writes extremely movingly about the death of his wife four years ago and thought I'd link to it. He empowers the piece with the use of imagery incorporating banshees and the shrieks of copulating foxes--a sound that's as otherworldly and eerie in Pennsylvania as it is in Ireland.

Having recently had a friend who died during the Christmas period, I related to what he described, and it brought back memories and sounds of the long night that my paternal grandmother Catherine died when I was an uncomprehending eleven-year-old silently watching from outside the bedroom.

Death is not something a great many Americans feel comfortable talking about, I have discovered, in comparison to Europeans--one sign thereof being their abundant use of euphemisms such as 'passed on' or 'passed' rather than the proper word 'died.' And to be honest, I never fully understood the importance of a funeral until I attended my best friend's in London where, as I sat alternately staring at the glossy coffin and watching the ceremony and listening to the words, it was revealed as in an epiphany. In one surging moment of intensity I comprehended fully. It wasn't about religion. It wasn't about ritual. It was about goodbye, a beautiful goodbye.

Anyway, Mr.Lenahan describes precisely how loved ones truly experience and seldom reveal.

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