Monday, October 11, 2004

Farewells and Transformations.

On Friday we placed the ashes of my Uncle Ian Morrison in their final resting place.

My family grave.

The grave lies somewhere in the center of a sprawling necropolis in the center of Dublin.

We walked for several minutes in that sharp October sunlight to reach it, over tarmac and narrow concrete walkways, cracked with age, by cenotaphs and sepulchres towering in their forlorn glory.

The closer we came to the grave, the more our conversation waned. The rain had spent itself earlier in the day, and was replaced with a cold wind and gathering bruised clouds. Skeleton leaves chased each other in minute twisters over the cold slabs of stone.

When we got there the grave was open, a dark maw ready to welcome my Uncle back to the fold.

There is something unnameable about the sadness that rose in me when I first came to the stained marble stone that rose above the open grave. It was a grave with my name at the head, a grave that had not been open for a half a century or more. I was unprepared for the rush of raw emotion, and thanked the Gods that I still wore my sunglasses.

My Grandfather who died when my father was eleven and my Uncle who died in his tenth year of boyhood, seemed to have been waiting in a pregnant silence for half a century to welcome another one of their own back to the damp earth.

I stood still save for the movement of my breathing. The words of the Preacher were swallowed by the silence of my head and the roar of my heart. I could feel the love and loss of my father through the touch of my hand on his shoulder and that of my cousins, my Uncles son and daughter who remained in silence nearby.

The laws of physics state that energy, of which we are made, can neither be created nor destroyed, it merely changes form.

The dead remain with us, and as their existence changes, not ends, so too does our relationship with them.

My Uncle has not left his children, nor those he loved. He has merely changed form, as have our lives to accomodate the lack of his physical presence. This I hope will provide some small solace in the days to come.

In all death there is a renewal of life, and my Uncle's departing gift, for me, I think, was the birth of a lasting friendship.

So for my Uncle, what is there left to say about him? I leave you all with these words.

"What a piece of work is a man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty. In form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action how like an angel. in apprehension how like a god."
William Shakespear - Hamlet.

Grief and pain, trasformed to Peace and Hope


For my cousins W&W my Father and my aunts.


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