Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Day For Rain: A Lesson In Loss

I'm afraid to turn my head but I need to see them carrying it in. I can feel my brother next to me. He’s shaking. Or is that me? We are packed tightly so it's hard to turn around. Eight people in a pew for six. Things like this call for being close together.

Everything is moving in broken pieces. Clicking like a film reel. The family is holding hands as they follow in. All around them are rows and rows of fragile people who cannot move. I cannot move. Not an inch. Not a breath.

We are all made of straw; the procession has entered waving a match.

All I can think are stupid thoughts.

Why doesn't that kid walking in front have a tie on? He should have a tie on.

They're placing it at the front of the church…I should say him…they're placing him at the front of the church.

Does "him" make it better or worse?

Across the way I can see out of the window, a perfect cloudless sky. Endless. There must be dueling suns it's so bright. The kind of weather you hope for when you're planning a barbecue. The kind of daylight that hurts your eyes when you've just stepped into it.

If this were a movie it would be raining. Pouring actually, with thunder and large drops of rain that make rings in large puddles. There would be no risk of fire. There would be a scene where everyone was dressed in black, with black umbrellas and the raindrops would be falling to symbolize tears.

Today the tears are the tears.

There are no clouds in the sky today. Rain would have been inappropriate. Rain washes things away. Makes things clean. It brings things to life.

It rained like cats and dogs on my parents wedding day. They are soaking wet in all of their pictures, holding red umbrellas and laughing. The best day of their lives.

No, this is not a day for rain. This day there are two suns illuminating every inch of heartbreaking space.

The singing of hymns. The holding of hands.

The kind things that were said in tortured speeches by all the people who will always wonder how someone so young could be taken so quickly.

The door being closed after they carry him away.

Everything is burning.

Everyone bows their head and prays for rain.