she was 'sposed to go over to the funeral home
and identify the body. we wanted to give her
a break. 'we'll go.' he said. i nodded. told
her to take whatever breaks she could get.
she wanted to 'warn' us of some ritual that
was done and that he might look odd and she
just wanted to prepare us.
hmmmm......okay. we got it.
and without even knowing it, we stumbled our
way into one of the most profound moments
of the trip.
he just wanted to save her some grief, and
make it easier for her. i just wanted to make
it easier for him.
it was in that caring that we walked in.
we both were fighting colds.
he had a throat lozenge in his mouth when
we walked in.
we were led to a dark, still chapel kinda room.
there were lights near the casket.
it was pine.
its simplicity was perfect.
the man quietly slid the top back for us to
it was totally quiet.
i stayed back a step to give him a moment.
i looked at him looking down at his dad.
the moment he saw him, he bit down on his
lozenge. i heard the crunch.
it was the only outward sign he gave that
he was feeling anything.
the timing of that crunch was amazing.
i could feel it go thru my entire body.
i noticed it.
then i took a step closer and looked and
said my goodbyes.
there was no need for warnings.
in fact, it was the only time i've ever seen
someone who had passed who looked like themselves.
that was a relief.
we stood there in the dim light for a little bit.
and we quietly said goodbye.
just the two of us.
a moment i'll always remember.