“Doncaster, Thirty-Two”

I stood at the back of this room, watching the very early arrivers file in, most of whom made the trip up the front of the room to look at the face of the person lying dead in the casket. Thirty-two years old, he would have been, today, with a wife.

Death is the great screen; it is also the great magnifying glass. Every moment of laughter I’d ever seen him share with his family seemed like a million moments. Life begins and ends in pain; both for us and those closest to us.

I walked around the back to the room where I was to be playing the organ and the piano as part of the funeral.

I had also played the music for their wedding less than two years ago.

His wife’s brother, who was to be singing a song, approached me, his eyes puffy and red, as were mine.

“We decided on this one,” he said, handing me some sheet music.

Looking back
On the memory of
The dance we shared
‘Neath the stars above
For a moment
All the world was right
How could I have known
That you’d ever say goodbye

And now
I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss
The dance

Holding you
I held everything
For a moment
Wasn’t I a king
But if I’d only known
How the king would fall
Hey who’s to say
You know I might have changed it all

And now
I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss
The dance

When he sang the song, he managed to hold together, somehow. He and his brother-in-law had been very close.

I know it is trite to say, but all life is, is whatever we manage to squeeze in between birth and death, as it is for billions exactly like us around the world, and billions who’ve come before us — the same journey, yet always unique.

The last person left here about twenty minutes ago. I sit in this now empty room, and realize: like music, or, like a dance, life consists of beauty and clumsiness, the purposeful and the accidental, the graceful and the awkward, all mixed together. Sometimes the bad is the enemy of the good, and sometimes seeking after the perfect is. But the perfection of life consists of just being what it is, what we can make of it.

In a bit of irony, this funeral home has now been configured to be used for other social events, and the man comes in to tell me they need to set the room up for a wedding reception.

I walk out to my car under a flaming red sunset.

Author: Sibelius Russell

Sibelius Russell (a/k/a/ Owen "Beleaguered" Servant) lives a life of whimsical servitude -- whatever that means.

Leave a Reply if you want. It's your life.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s