I've been thinking a lot lately
In the last few years I've been to two funerals
In the next few years that number could jump to six
So how do you do it?
How does one manage to speak at a funeral?
What do you say to encapsulate the entire lifespan of a human
In just a few sentences?
How am I supposed to be able to talk about all the good and compassionate deeds
While also talking about all the hurtful and venomous actions and words?
And more importantly how do you speak in general?
The last two times, my voice became a snow covered field cricket
I stared at their stone-like, alien faces
And could only focus on the open casket.
I had words to speak, yes
But the dictionary I keep in mind was slammed shut and shoved into a melting iron safe
The absolute SECOND I couldn't recognize who lay before me at first glance.
Did I try to speak?
I avoided the tearful, dagger filled looks of the room by my own volition
Maybe it wasn't my place.
Maybe those words weren't meant for me to say in a room full of grieving and tired eyes
But if no one else is capable of speaking the truth no matter how heart-wrenching it may be
Where do those words come from?
I know it'll be my turn to speak one day
And I know on that day my voice will scream and cry
My vocal chords will rip and I will sob more so than I have ever dared to before.
On that day I'll understand how to say goodbye
And how it leads to an acceptable
I miss the feelings I got from being high,
of belonging to the static in my mind.
I miss closing my eyes and just thinking,
waking up without a memory of anything
besides a feeling I only ever got with a pill
or two or ten,
but now I'm beside myself
feeling things I can't verbalize without beating the words to death,
and I can't handle any more death,
lost all my energy after creating a eulogy for everyone I tried to be.
all the butterflies in my stomach are words I swallowed once upon a time,
choked them down,
choked on them,
and I'm still trying to cough them out
all this time later.
I know breathing exercises,
but I don't think those matter when I can't catch my breath.
some things never change.
I remember mostly vividly
two memories with you.
One when you told me
he would be my father
and I had to call him father.
But it was you, and you
were always right.
One when you saw me
and remembered my name
and I loved you in that moment.
Because you know many names, but you
still remembered mine.
I remember most fuzzily
memories that are mostly hearsay.
You carried me as a baby
You fed me and bathed me and clothed me and you
taught me wisdom in every action
will never finish learning it all.
I remembered most vividly,
two memories with you.
But today it is
when I saw you
and remember you loved me in every moment
and even as you will never see me again
and even as I will learn many names
I will remember yours.
Written at the funeral of a family friend. She was like a grandmother to me, and a great many other people.
— The End —