Saturday, September 30, 2006


Well, not to be overly morbid on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon, but I just received a phone call that was sort of interesting [to me]. I am about to inflict its details upon you...

A friend of mine is a pastor of a church. And this morning he officiated at a funeral, the circumstances of which involved a suicide. A funeral is pretty much always a serious and somber moment, but even moreso is this the case when the person whom everyone has gathered to remember, chose to take their own life. Standard eulogies, standard all-purpose anecdotal stuff does not really translate... everyone gathered knows that there is an element of grief present, a palpable untimeliness to it all that was not there when your 96-year old grandmother died of natural causes!

And so, not to belabor the point, but I think you can get what I am saying.
My friend, as you can imagine, was looking for the right things to say, at the right moments. At funerals, the officiating minister is trying to gather the scattered thoughts of those in attendance, and make of them something at least manageable, much as a person would gather 52 playing cards on a table, and pat them down, straighten them out, and then set them down as a pack, ready to be dealt out for the next game.
And so it was that at the interment service this very morning, there at the graveside, my friend recited a poem I had once written, back in 1995.
I wonder if it is wrong for me to feel honored.
Maybe honored is the wrong word, because it [the feeling I have] has very little to do with recognition. The truth is, no one there knows that I wrote it. It was merely read out, "as the writings of a friend."
No, I think it is in that anonymity itself that I feel honored.
Because it ensures merit where merit is due. In the words themselves. Like... in the fact that words can convey so much meaning, sometimes.
He told me that he could tell in those moments that people were moved, that the words reached into some of the ways they were feeling at that moment. Or perhaps, wanted to feel.
The poem is very brief, and can be seen here.
Have a great Saturday, all.
-- Cip



Stefanie said...

Definitely and honor. And a lovely poem too.

cipriano said...

Thank you Stefanie!