death, family, health, travel

falling stars

my grandmother died.
i am in Detroit trying to soothe my mother
and i am charged with the writing
and delivering of the eulogy.

they wanted me to sing,
but i’m not certain i would perform anything
other than shudders and the choking back of tears.
best that i speak of light things
and celebrate her life.

if any of you have any advice
or well-wishing or thoughts on eulogies
and funerals, please share them with me.

my grandmother was Protestant,
but never really attended church
she believed in a higher power – god per se
but did not want to be buried with a rosary
or delivered into a church before burial,
so i will be speaking of her at a funeral home.
we bury her on Wednesday.
she was 81.

when people lose someone older in their family
sometimes, the thoughts and emotions are disconnected
— they forget that the person was ever young.
my grandmother was a tough woman, sometimes cruel
but it was also in her home i spent the first 9 months of my life
she saw me even before my own father who was at sea
and in her hallway was a long mirror i always loved
and would push myself against to stand.
i left fingerprints there as an infant
and when my mother and i left to our first home
my grandmother refused to wash those prints off the mirror
for nearly a year.
Irene Paull is her name, and she was a good woman
strong with a deep capacity for memory and tenderness.

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