Monday, December 8, 2008

Lisa Roe's Memorial Post for Dewey: Part Two

I have to apologize because today is the first time that I've addressed the loss of Dewey on this blog. Like everyone else, I was first shocked at the news; and then as I processed it, I became very, very sad. I have read all of the beautiful tributes to her on the various blogs and knew that I should write something..anything. But I found that I just couldn't articulate my feelings or any words for her death.

I still don't know what to say except that I know she is going to be missed so much and by so many people. Even though I haven't written anything before today, please know that Dewey and her family have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly over the past week.

Many of you already know Lisa Roe -- she's an online book publicist. She has written a beautiful and touching memorial post for Dewey, and I'm fortunate enough that she chose to share part of it on my blog. I am posting the second section below. For the other two sections of the post, please visit: (Part 1)

The SuperFast Reader (Part 3)

Part 2: We sat in the waiting room. Sat, sat, sat, sat, and sat. I was bored out of my mind, and kicking the underside of my chair with my heels. All the while, protectively holding onto the pony picture. If anyone else got their hands on it, they were liable to wrinkle it.

Late in the evening, we went home, pony picture in hand, without seeing my cousin. I tacked the coloring masterpiece above my bed for the next time I saw Johnny; once he was out of the hospital.

The picture was gone when I came home from school one day. I couldn’t believe it. Art such as that could never be duplicated! I cried and carried on hysterically in my room, alone, until exhausted. Then I sat on the floor and wondered what sort of farm work a pink and purple pony could manage.

Between my cousin’s death and high school, I lost two grandparents, and a beloved cat. Of the four combined funerals, I was only in attendance for two: my grandfather’s and my cat’s. I was ill prepared for both. I swear I saw my grandpa move on his satin bedding and felt guilty for being terrified in my final moments with him. And the cat, well, her service was officiated over by my mom, as she lay nestled in her Rubbermaid container coffin. At night, on both occasions, I sobbed and wailed into my pillow until it was soaked through.

Not being present at my grandmother’s or my cousin’s services made their deaths less real to me. It was easier to face. The only memories were of the happy alive variety. No scary coffins, dimly lit parlors, or mistaken flickers of movement. Out of sight, out of mind. I draped myself in numb and practiced avoidance.

I turned to books. I trusted stories and their third person depictions of death to my own personal experiences of it. I related the losses of my past in words, not emotions. Death became inevitability. Eventuality. I didn’t believe in untimely passing. I knew the story of the Fates, the creators and determiners of one’s life thread. The tale made enough sense to me. If someone went, they simply had run out of thread. I could work with it.

By the time I graduated high school, 6 of my classmates had passed due to various modes and methods of recklessness. Many times, the irresponsibility was not of their making. I knew their names, shared their classes, read their yearbook spreads. I did not attend one memorial service. Not even my best friend’s. I grieved alone.


Serena said...

I can totally relate to Lisa's post of avoidance. I felt and dealt with death in the same way when I was younger.

Kathleen said...

Wow 6 deaths during highschool? That's a lot. I don't like open caskets for that same reason, it always looks like they are moving.