Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Ninth Circle of Mourning

Went to a visitation today. It was a friend of my housemate's, someone she had seen quite a bit in an earlier day but who had recently started suffering from a multiplicity of ailements. From what I heard, the last straw was the guy decided to try out dialysis to see if liver functioning would improve, turned out the liver was worsening so they decided to let things go.

While looking at the people mourning the man, I kept thinking about Tony Salazar (web site now long gone). He died rather suddenly (although not exactly unexpectedly) from a "brain bleed" (another term for stroke, if you ask me), and while at today's visitation a song of Tony's -- The Ninth Circle of Love -- kept running through my head.

You won't see the lyrics online; as the only recording I know of it was played at his funerals (two -- one in Chicago for his friends, a second in Grand Rapids, Michigan for family.

Anyway, one of the more interesting happenings was near the end, when a friend of the dead person was asked to be a pallbearer. Not only was it odd for a pallbearer to be asked at the visitation, but one could tell the guy doing the asking -- the person who had organized the whole shebang in the first place -- was making an effort to include this guy despite his wishes.

Turned out the guy being asked was a longtime companion of the deadman for many years. And although the man organizing the funeral and visitation clearly did not like what this meant, he made what I would call the right move in involving the companion in the pallbearing activities.

No comments: