I will teach you my townspeople / how to perform a funeral

I remember stuttering flashes of moments which are faintly illuminated by her wit, her humor, her smile, and even her stubborness. I remember sitting in the small brightly lit kitchen with grandfather and her, eating dinner, amazed by the pride beaming out of their hearts, awkardly shelling beans on the porch while a light brown and black striped german shepard attentively demanded our lazy attention,
the darker moments when her patiently earned freedom disappeared by degrees her restricted food her theft-protected-car her vacant house her submission to the notion that your kids grow up to be people and parents and roles swapped of mother and child and learn about death two many deaths and . . .

I remember answering endless questions as she tried to maintain control over the remaining parts of her life.
I do not remember the look over her face when she was forgetting her loved ones the moments she struggled to remember my name the desparate look as a mind destroys itself
and I am thankful
because I watched her stern, hard and fast husband wittle away into a empty soft body which refused him, a man i loved though he was cold to many, i couldnt watch her go

yet i did she started packing years before only a short time of blessed breathing space she never demanded but longed for i watched each piece slip away unbearable a nightmare to me forced to return the moments she stole from the world

i never asked her about god about religion about whether she trully believed our whether she had doubts like the rest, she wouldnt talk about death directly but made snide comments which i now mimic because i realize the futility of answering questions with positives strange what I learned and what she taught which is probably not what she intended
i learned
each decision you make is a lesson you will have to learn to accept
children are a burden which some are not equipped to handle and watching them die brings the cruelest questions
honesty works better than lieing but not in the way people believe it to
we will all die grasping at each forgotten moment
life rips away at us throughout our days shredding pieces until we surrender because we lack armies to stop it
the world is lonely when your children and grandchildren demand better things than your company
and humor in the face of sadness and pain can firm your convictions to remain

i will miss her demands her opinions her desire,
but i am glad she finally surrendered before life took everything from her.

“Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.”
William Carlos Williams “A Widow’s Lament in Springtime”

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