Saturday, September 04, 2010

experiencing death for the first time

the title is a bit morbid
but it's been on my mind this week
the first time i remember experiencing the death of a family member
i know that 2 of my grandparents died before i was 3
but the first one i remember
that i really felt
was my first cousin brian
i think it was present in my thoughts this week because his surviving brother
desmond
visited us for the first time
i've been to ireland and back
at least a dozen times
we lived there for years when i was little
mother homesick
father midlife crisis
me - no choice in the matter
and brian was one of the cousins closest in age to me
less than a 2yr gap
considering my youngest 1st cousin is about 20yrs younger than me
an age gap in months is nearly nothing
so
we had just moved back to canada
and i remember
it was a sunny
mid spring day
full of promise
and my mom was on the phone
oh no
oh noooooooooooooooo
no no no no no no no
brian was a sweet and gentle boy
i remember the last time i saw him
the country house
his excitement in showing me the kittens that had just been born to the family cat
the ears still stuck to their heads
gentle and sweet
cupping the little fur balls in his soft hands
no
he had drowned
he was 7 years old
there had been heavy rains
a slurry pit...maybe 6ft deep
he had fallen in
his father found him and had to pull his lifeless body out
my mom heaved and shook and wept
and when she told me
i shook too
everything in me shook
all the ideas of life and existence shook
permanency shook
what was right and wrong shook
i cried an infinite amount of tears for all that loss
and it's nearly 30yrs and i can still feel the tears well up from a deep place
even though it was so wonderful to see desmond
i couldn't shake those little pieces of brian
that occupy my memory
that occupy my sense of place in the world
and i still miss him.

2 comments:

Charla @ Healthy Home Blog said...

The death of someone we love or care about is a hard thing. We never forget them, even after many years. I lost my grandfather 38 years ago.

star*mora said...

it's amazing isn't it...so much time passes and in a moment it can feel like yesterday!

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