Thursday, August 14, 2014

Goodbye



Paper pennants, decorations for the wedding in June, were still flying, a little faded, some missing -- a poignant reminder of the joy that had filled us all on that day.

Yesterday morning  friends and family gathered for the burial. Teo's friends had dug a grave on a gentle knoll with long views across peaceful pastures to the mountains beyond,  The coffin, handmade by Teo's father and father-in-law, rested  on the table where the wedding feast had been spread. The plaintive tones of a Cherokee flute sounded as people approached the coffin, laying gentle hands on the new wood and saying goodbye. Teo's family sang a beautiful hymn and his mother read a poem. Then the pallbearers -- Teo's friends and Teo's sister  -- carried him, shoulder high, up to the knoll. 

Baskets containing significant objects -- among them, deer antlers, a worn  baseball cap, a tissue wet with the bride-widow's tears -- were lowered into the grave after the coffin, as were Teo's logging boots. Words were said and finally friends and family took turns adding  handfuls or shovelfuls of dirt to the grave.

And once again, all gathered at the table for another meal. 

Tears and hugs were plentiful , , , all  present so very aware of the preciousness of life and love.

And as the day wore on, there were some smiles . . . and even laughter.

May his memory be a blessing.


12 comments:

Ms. A said...

So young, so sad.

Thérèse said...

To remind all of us "readers" how every second of Life is precious, even these moments of enormous pain.

Merisi said...

Words fail me. Loving thoughts for those who loved him.

Brian Miller said...

oy, bet that one was a hard one...

the putting in of significant objects was interesting...not something that everyone does....

Anonymous said...

Vicki, my most sincere sympathy to you and those who loved him. What a sadness when a child dies before his parents and elders! My heart aches for you.

Deana the queena

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Thank you for sharing this tender time, when community gathers again for the events of our lives, and deaths. May all who loved Teo find comfort from each other and sharing their memories.

Jill said...

So sorry for your loss.

Janna Zonder said...

Oh, Vicki, I'm so sad and so sorry for the loss of this fine young man, and send my deepest condolences to all who love him.

Polly Iyer said...

How sad. Thinking of you and your friends, Vicki.

Novice Naturalist said...

My heart is with you all.

Star said...

May they be together again when the sun shines on both sides of the hedge at the same time.
How very sad.
xx

NCmountainwoman said...

So sad to say goodbye so soon. I love putting some of his favorite objects with him. And the family and community taking care of the service themselves.