The deepest suffering
worse than mortgage foreclosure
greater than redundancy
more painful than divorce.
Death of a child.
what to say or do?
Inadequate finds new meaning.
Premature death has no formal hierarchy
grief seems most intense for early teenagers
perhaps it is the point where talent begins
childhood blurred possible
adolescent bright probable.
Funeral home – oxymoron exemplar definitive
commerce supervising orderly, sanitised departure.
white glove clean
lifestyle magazine gardens
static contradiction to energetic disorder of family dwelling.
A mechanical shuffle past solicitous ushers
printed orders of service.
God as guest speaker not MC.
brutally short when death stakes its claim at 13.
The formalities complete
before refreshments and commitment
even internment is not possible on an empty stomach
an invitation for young people to share memories.
Several friends stumble through stage fright
downcast eyes, bravado deserted, a pause…
an acoustic conclusion seems to have been reached.
The celebrant directs grief’s traffic…. “one more perhaps.”
A classmate walks to and around the microphone
a train pulling into station
slowing – not stopping
“I just want everybody to know Jeremy didn’t die
without seeing a naked woman.”