We held the funeral for Birdleford (Gage's name) Princess (Payton's name) today at two pm (if you do not know what I am talking about I would suggest you read my previous post, Prognosis Negative). It was well attended. Geoff did the grave digging, and Gage made a lovely monument out of two Popsicle sticks. I eulogized the bird. Here is a summary of my eulogy.
Who knew this bird?? (Pause) WE knew this bird. We didn't know him for long. (Pause) Sadly, that wasn't meant to be. But more important than the duration of our love (pause) was the strength of our love. We loved him unconditionally. He had a broken wing. We did not hold back. We offered him shelter, and sunflower seeds, but alas, our best efforts were all in vain. What is the purpose?? One wonders, of a life so short, with such a tragic ending?? Perhaps the purpose was this: to teach us that it's OK. It's OK to reach out. It's OK to love. It's OK to lose. Our hearts are heavy today while we mourn our friend. Yesterday, we watched him struggling to take flight with his broken wing, a feat which he was he too broken to do. Today, we know that somewhere up above, in the great sky beyond, he IS taking flight. (pause) He is soaring. (Pause) And perhaps, perhaps, he is saying, thank you. Thank you (whisper). Do you hear it in the wind??
Following the eulogy, flowers were passed out and everyone had the chance to place them on the grave and say a farewell. Geoff declined, saying that he had said his farewell internally, that it was far too personal to say out loud. Payton offered the words "I love you" and Gage, who holds everything in, declined as well. Following this, I read a passage from "Grand Avenue" by Joy Fielding, which was not ideal, but since we do not own a bible and this was the only book I had available it was the best I could do. Unfortunately, the passage was not the most fitting, but I found that if read with enough authority and long pauses, it still sounded austere. This is the passage:
A reading from Susan:Page 13:Verse 1
Next to Vicki's coiled intensity, Susan seemed almost stately, sitting there with her hands clasped easily in her lap, light brown hair folding neatly under at her chin, the quintessential Breck girl, except that she was still carrying around fifteen of the thirty five pounds she'd gained when pregnant and hadn't been able to shed since Ariel's birth. The extra pounds made her noticeably self-conscious and camera-shy, although she'd always preferred the sidelines to center stage.
At this point, people were invited indoors, where I had prepared an impromptu reception of PB&J sandwiches, Brents left over birthday cake (the timeliness of being given that cake the night before the funeral was really fortunate), coffee, a fruit platter, and a cheese and pickle platter.
It was quite lovely.
I remember a time in my childhood where Nadine and I held a similar cerimony for one Mr. Bee, a bumble bee whom we killed out of self defence. Later we were wracked by guilt and so decided to bury him properly, which at that time consisted of a make shift coffin fashioned from a cigarette tube box. For some reason there was iced tea powder involved with the ceremony. I think it was supposed to be incence.
Anyways. I guess I never really grew up. The thing that surprises me most, I have to say, is Geoff's complicity with all of this. He seems to now have a quiet resignation about him as he sits on bended knee before a popsicle stick monument and listens to my lengthy eulogy. I can almost hear him thinking I married a whack job.
Anyways, this day has been very trying for me. I think I shall go now.