Thursday, March 27, 2008
One week on from the funeral, I still get the urge to send her a message, a link to something I think she'd like, or burn a disc of new distractions. Then I remember that she is gone.
It was a good seven years. In the urban family we choose, she was the big sister I never had; friend, teacher, tormentor, muse. She stood up for me, but could devastate with a line. Having survived an accident that put her in intensive care, she was always available with a dose of perspective in tough times. A black-belt cook, she trained me up from spice wuss to vindaloo victor, and in the end taught me about loss and chest-crushing grief. She laughed at my jokes.
Her laugh was explosive and some of my favourite memories of times together are of making her laugh. I'm glad the last time I saw her I got what she could manage of a chuckle out of her.
Bye Cheese. I'll never forget you.
A few months ago I found a book of Japanese death poems; haiku by monks, in some cases the very last thing they did before dying. I found a poem that I thought was apt; I left it in the pub during the wake:
Ware shinabaMoriya Sen'an (d. 1838)
sakaya no kame no
shita ni ikeyo
moshi ya shizuku no
Bury me when I die
beneath a wine barrel
in a tavern.
the cask will leak.