The Canadian years, 87, the parting of ways

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 22 February 16:40


The parting of the ways

There was no denying it anymore, my moeder's health rapidly declined, and I knew we had entered in a macabre countdown to the end. My father determined a date for the cremation of my brother and invited his colleagues to support him that day. On Saturday morning he would be cremated in the crematorium, the Bowriver. That gave me the Friday evening to see him one last time. We got out of the old American jalopy and walked to the entrance of the funeral chapel, for me it was a heavy gait and my friends stayed near me. The screens were already in place and my brother stared at us, still cold from the freezer room, from the half-open coffin. ‘Oh man’, Richard said, ‘this is heavy, this makes it really final. You have to say the last farewell’, he said. ‘it seems correct to me.’ ‘I’ve  taken leave for months,’ I replied,’but I understand what you mean.’ Don stepped forward and spoke to the open coffin, I hope all goes well for you’ he said. I could not help it, I had to smile, his choice of words was really awkward. You hope it goes well with someone who is about to be destroyed by fire.

‘’That was from the heart Don,’ I said, ‘he would have liked that.’ Richard came forward, he said, ‘man things have gone bad for you, I find that terrible, rest in peace.’ ‘Right on man,’ Don and I said together and I realized it was a kind of hippie language for Amen. Beverly walked to the coffin and pressed a kiss on her index finger and held it against the cold forehead of my brother, ‘travel under my protection and do not stop until you reach the light.’ ‘That was beautiful Beverly I said, thank you.’ I have brought a text, a  text by the Byrds and I got it out of my pocket. I began to read it but my voice broke. ‘What are friends for’, asked Beverly and the four as a special liturgy spoke the text over the opened coffin.


The river flows, it flows to the sea.

Wherever That river goes, that's where I wanna be.

Flow, river flow, let your water washdown,

Take me from this road, to someother town.


All he wanted was to be free,

And that's the way, it turned out to be,

Flow, river flow, let your water washdown,

Take me from this road, to some other town.

‘That's very nice,’ said Don,’ the river and the life that flows into the bigger picture. The river that washes you before you end up in the new situation. The freedom searched for by your brother and the interpretation of how that was made. Liberated but in a different way ..’ ‘You really understand it Don,’ I said. ‘I could not have explained it better.’ ‘Read it tomorrow,’ Richard advised, ‘No,’ I said ‘these words belong here.’ I folded it up and put it next to his folded hands in the coffin. ‘Rest in peace dear boy’, I said and bent over the coffin and kissed his forehead and his folded hand. ‘Come’ Beverely said, ‘you have to go now, we are hurting ourselves’ and she was right, as women who take on the role of mother, always are right. We walked back to front again, at the end of the screens we stood still and turned around a final time. ‘Find the light,’ said Beverly. Richard had a lump in his throat and nodded respectfully and I said, simply, ‘good trip dear boy.’ Don looked blankly and then waved.

‘We have done well,’ said Don, ‘I have a good feeling about it ‘and we all felt like that. We went home because tomorrow would follow a conclusion that would be loaded and nobody felt like whipped up glee. The atmosphere at home was downright gloomy and I went to bed early.


In the night I heard something come cracking down the stairs and my first thought was one that gave me goosebumps, ‘my brother has come home.’ I kept myself quiet. The door opened and a breathing passed me. A figure with a candle walked past. The figure went to the foot of my brother’s bed.’ So,’ sounded my father's voice, ‘are you happy in Edmonton, are you happy in Edmonton. How much more fun is it there? Do you think sometimes of me, huh?’ He stood like that for a moment and then turned and walked out without looking my way. I remained for some time awake, but my father was gone. In the morning I could hardly believe it had really taken place, but the wax stains on the ground confirmed my father's nightly hike.

San Daniel 2015

for information  about the books of San Daniel presss  this  link

Reacties (0) 

Voordat je kunt reageren moet je aangemeld zijn. Login of maak een gratis account aan.