October 12, 2013
This is getting excessive. First Sofia died. Then Paula’s Sebastian. And then this past weekend, we learned that a neighbor, a man my parents’ age, died. His funeral was on Monday. And then on Wednesday, one of my grandpa’s cousins died. (At least he happened to be 90.) And while my mom and I were at the funeral home yesterday, one of this cousin’s sons came in, and my mom heard him say that his mom was heartbroken. My mom and I opted not to go to the visitation that evening. My dad, however, did go. And when he got there, he saw two caskets. Yes, she had died that afternoon. My parents are off to a family funeral today.
Now, of course, thinking of how this couple who had been married for more than 60 years (they were both 90) died so closely together, I couldn’t help but think of the story of Baucis and Philemon. I’m a classics major. Of course I think of Baucis and Philemon. They were an old couple whose hospitality was rewarded by the gods. They asked that they never have to live apart, so the gods allowed them to die on the same day and then turned them into intertwining trees. It’s a beautiful story, and the love our cousins shared is equally beautiful.
But enough with the death and the funerals already! Can we get a respite from additional mourning, please?
Several years ago, at the wake for one of my many great aunts or uncles (I can’t remember which), my great aunt Stell said to me, “The next time we get together better be for a wedding.” She was, of course, partly asking me why I wasn’t getting married already. But it also came from the fact that this was the third wake we’d been to in a fairly short period of time. Aunt Stell has herself been gone for a while now, and I’m sure she’s currently looking down at us, rolling her eyes, and shouting, “Enough already! Next time better be for a wedding!”