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February 8, 2005

In the Land That Knows No Parting

The sun came up on me in Kentucky yesterday. It was raining, Willie Nelson was coming through the car speakers, and my brother was driving me south to the airport, to Texas, home. Rambling by farms and rolling hills of orange clay, tobacco barns and stands of pine trees, trying hard not to think about how I spent the day before helping put my grandfather in a box in the ground.

The funeral was alternately comforting and intolerable. I loved hearing all the old gospel and bluegrass music, the stories of all the old guys in the smoker’s room and the lilt of the Southern accent that I grew up dulcified by. There were relatives with amazing names that I’d never met. There were fantastic stories, too unbelievable to repeat here. And there was my Grandfather, in a shiny, pretty box, at the front of the room.

And though the ceremony and mourning all transpired in the ordained Southern way, it wasn’t a natural way for me to say goodbye at all, and I still feel like I’ve not eked out all my sadness and loss, or had my proper ritual. I’m listening to lots of suitable music, and crying intermittently, and I’m sure that soon enough I will find an appropriate observance for this passing. If I were a praying sort, I suppose I’d go that route. Instead, I’m gathering up sips of bourbon and slippery, moppet memories and feeling very grateful to have known someone so unparagoned as my grandfather.

Posted by pogo at February 8, 2005 6:58 PM

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I’m very sorry about the passing of your grandfather. Please accept my most sincere hug, and also my thanks for sharing such a heartfelt, wonderfully written post.

Posted by: nathalie on February 9, 2005 8:59 AM