Friday, November 26, 2004

The shot of a pistol

My mother just called and left the dread-details with me. The visitation is Sunday from 6-8, and the funeral is at 1 p.m. at Craig-Hurtt Hutsell, the dread funeral home which we've been avoiding these last several years in our town. It has nasty, white fake columns like it's dignified.

Mom would like for me, and maybe two other grandchildren, to go up front and speak in eulogy. Why did I agree when I know that I'll be bawling with the rest of the grandchildren? That's what we did at her husband's funeral. We all exited the Pleasant Home Baptist with red eyes, blinking in the ferocious, cold sunlight having been battered down after Grandma refused to let go of his coffin. His death was enough without having to see her deep pained wailing sorrow. Yet isn't wailing appropriate? I'm glad that she had the emotional gutsiness to show her feelings like the biblical women who knew pained separation even within the promise of eternal life.

I'm not sure what I'll say yet. I am used to public speaking, so apart from the tears and choked throat, perhaps I can bring her back to life again momentarily with memories and attachment and the sound of giggles. That damn funeral home probably has no technology to show pictures of the gleaming Grandmother that she was. Word images will have to do.

I loved her so much. And, I'm scared now about what new turn of the soil the next day will bring. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit broods over me, cooing and holding me in feathers of down. Seriously, Grandma Cora is most likely digging into some black soil now and exclaiming, "Ohhhhh, I just knew! I just knew!" as she beams solidly into Jesus' face. She always acted as if she knew instead of being bothered by the angst of the age that so many of us like to wallow and waste time in because it's the existential-wimp thing to do.

I will have to sleep on all of this tonight. The right things to say. How to approach the podium. How to avoid the strangulation which prevents the shot of a pistol, the truth of Cora to shoot out in order to provide nutrients for family blooms. She would want me to plant a few seeds along the way, I'm sure.

Bien nuit, mon chere grand-mere.

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