We cremated Tamlorn yesterday. It was very hard to go to the funeral home, to face this painful thing. And yet, it was transformative. Unexpectedly, something shifted in me.
The scream behind my silence becomes a roar
I can breathe again, the weight lifts.
Perhaps it was not grief, but silence.
The silencing, the weight of a culture that says ‘do not grieve’
for fear of being accused of wallowing, or worse,
Like cresting a steep hill, I inhale the view, deeply.
You were part of our family, dearly loved.
and we mourned you as we mourn our own.
Even the cats have graves – even little injured
wild birds that die on the way to the vet.
Something came and took you from us
into the night and I thought I’d never get you back.
There was just the void and a great silence.
A deep numbness. In that place, you did not exist, neither did I.
But somehow, in this defiance – naming you
mourning you, cremating you, in some way we drew you back
from formlessness, you took on shape
became a part of our family, honored by our rituals, inducted as a member.
Part of a legacy.
We are your home, love.
You are not a body washed up nameless on foreign soil
you are not a stray dog dying alone out in the bush
you are ours. We took you back.
You lived and died in our body
we have sung you to life and back to death again
we have burned you with lavender and rosemary
the drum of my heart calls your name
you are here, you are here, you are here.