Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

One year ago today my brother died.

At his hospital bedside, I sang to him--music, I thought, affects so much of the brain, perhaps this will get through. A familiar song, a catchy song, one he had sung so many times. Maybe he'll open his eyes and join in on the chorus.

He did not.

If we live on only in the memories and actions of others, he's doing better than most.


Belinda Funeral Celebrant said...

Brilliant song. The second funeral I conducted was for my father-in-law. We played "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" at his funeral.
With my best wishes,

makita said...

Dear CF,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm afraid that when I lost my brother when he was just 18 years old, no one ever told me, that decades later, I could still think about that day, and feel the searing pain like it just happened. No one prepared me for the idea that the pain doesn't go away, you simply learn to live with it. I also remember the music he had chosen for himself the last day (Metallica and Slayer; slightly different genre than your own choice).
Immortality is real, people do live on in the memories of those who love them. I carry my brother and father (who died 4 years ago) with me every day.

gloriamundi said...

That's why the stuff about "closure" is nonsense, thank goodness - I don't want to be closed off from those I love who are dead, and clearly you don't either, Cuttles - even though "closure" might hurt less. Makita's thought is a valuable one - we should prepare people for the lasting present of bereavement. And of course music is a powerful flashback flashpoint. Especially a great old song like this.
So sorry you had to write this one, but pleased to find simple truths for us here, O wise Cephalopod!

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Cuttlefish said...

Thank you, Belinda--It seems I am gathering a strange following among Funeral Celebrants. Good people.

makita! It has been too long since I have seen your name here. Thank you for the ... warning? My sincere condolences for your losses old and new.

gloriamundi--thank you, and I agree; the life had a closure, but the memories need not. I just raised a glass of single malt, here in an empty room, to my brother, to what he has done, what he would have done, and what others have done and will do in his memory.

Dancing Monkey--it takes a special kind of heartlessness to spam a post like this. I really hope we meet in person some day. You might want to hope we do not.

Kathie said...

makita is so right, "the pain doesn't go away, you simply learn to live with it." A virtual hug to our rhyming cephalopod.

Cuttlefish said...

Muito obrigado, Kathie; hugs are very appreciated today.

Cossard said...

* hugs *

Anna O'Connell said...


So sorry for your loss. I concur with what the others have said about bereavement; the pain doesn't go away, but you do become accustomed to it. Most of the time. Until something happens that makes it freshly poignant.