Monday, August 01, 2005

Blood in the Garden

There are so many decisions to be made when planning a funeral. And so little time to get it all done. My brain is boggled. My body is more than weary. But plans are falling into place. I am able to let go of it all coming together in perfection. There was blood in the garden - we forget that when we shoot for perfection. I've learned that a forgotten line, a baby crying at the (seemingly)most inopportune time, a mistimed burp or (heaven-forbid) fart are great reminders of our humanity. I need to learn to take myself less seriously. I bought myself a hula hoop not too long ago in an effort to laugh and play more....I certainly have the hips to keep a hula hoop aloft. Just gotta learn that rhythmic swing needed to keep the hoop in the air instead of around my feet. I'm a sight to see I tell ya.

I sit here and wonder for the umpteenth time about how life just goes back to normal after a we do the things we need to put closure on it all and then what? We get back to the day to day reality of the here and now. I wonder what it looks like to honour a life for the long haul. At funerals I have often had the urge to stand on a chair and yell at people. I want to shake them awake. I have never been able to understand how someone can go into a funeral and come out of it unchanged. How's that for a judgement of people's hearts that I haven't the foggiest idea about?

I have been hyper aware of little things since my friend died. Like walking barefoot across the lawn and feeling, really feeling, the grass on my feet. Being thankful that I can take a breath without pain and without struggle. Enjoying the warmth of a cup of tea around my fingers. Choices - I get to make so many choices in a day. I am just so glad to be alive.

When I was sitting with my friend I thought alot about the stuff that doesn't matter in the end. If I am granted a long life my body will sag and break down. It won't matter if I ever get down to that ideal number on the scale. It won't matter about any of the material things in life. I want to be remembered for who I was not what I did or didn't have. It's just all so easy to say and so very hard to actually live it. I'm no different than the next person. I wonder when I will get back to whining and moaning about whatever the reality in the here and now is in my life. I'm sure I'll let you in on it when it happens. I'll lose perspective, I will. I just want to remember enough to be open to the changes that can happen deep inside while I live on the surface of life.

I've had to think about how forgetful people get when someone they remember the good and act as if there was nothing bad. It drives me batty. I mean have you ever heard a eulogy that said the whole truth? "We all know the guy was such an asshole." Have heard that left unspoken at funerals. That's probably for the best but I do wonder how honouring it is to only represent part of it. God honours the whole of it. Maybe stuff gets left unsaid because it is too painful. I have seen my friend's family each deal with their guilt of unspoken mends that needed to be made that will be forever left as is now. But it has bothered me to hear them say she was such a saint. She wasn't. She was fully human. The rifts in the family were not one sided affairs. Maybe we deny(on purpose) a portion of our own humanity when we fail to look squarely at the deceased's humanity.

Life is messy. Death is messy. I am messy. And maybe I am just so sleep deprived when I sit here and smile, yes smile, that it's all so messy. It's such a long way from trying to distance myself from the fact that there was blood in the garden. And I know that is good news. The Good News.

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