This is the end. Death is life’s final punctuation mark, the period. Life sees commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, ampersands, and others, but all hint at something more to come. Death is the period. It is the end. There is nothing to come after that.
I do not know how I will continue on. For me, this is an ellipsis, but I feel that my own story has come to a squeaking, resisting, angry halt. It’s difficult to concentrate, and I only want to be mindless, because thinking about nothing is easier and nicer than thinking about something. Something always leads back to what I do not want to think about.
One saving grace is that we were not in the habit of seeing Ye Ye often. Once or twice a year in person, once a week on Skype. If we had lived closer to them and seen them several times a week, I do not know how I would bear it. But, distance graciously allows me to pretend that everything is fine, because really, our daily routine has been minimally interrupted.
I never want to see a funeral home ever again. Why do they call the places funeral homes? That is not a home. It is the antithesis of a home. Homes are warm, inviting, happy places. Funeral homes are cold, where death greets you at the door and invites you to suffer, to see him place the final punctuation mark on your loved one’s manuscript that was their life. Homes are not final. Death is final. I hate that.
As we began to clean my grandmother’s house, we found Ye Ye’s 8mm movie camera, forgotten in a woven basket my aunt shipped back from Kenya. Ye Ye always had a video camera with him on family vacations, and I guess this was the first one. We also found an envelop with camera negatives, containing photos from his first years in the U.S. It made me realize a two things: We often don’t really know people until after they’re gone, and we don’t spend enough time with people while they’re here. How can we remedy that? Instead of a slap in the face, life’s final punctuation mark should bring closure. We make a nasty habit of expecting everything to be as it should, every day. Tomorrow may be different. Please be prepared. Dearest friends, if I have not spent enough time with you, I am sorry, and I hope that will change.