My grandmother died today.
She was old. Frail. She died peacefully.
We all gathered by her bedside,
Grieving in our loss of the departed,
May she rest in peace.
Her eldest son wept kneeling. Old himself,
He had a lot to keep for;
His dead mother. His weak heart, and imminent death.
His son who stood by the door, dazed and numb,
For his father would not look upon him.
A few months ago
When his father was rushed to the hospital,
In pain, suffering in silence,
He arrived at the hospital. Paused outside the door,
Asked after his father. His mother pleaded,
But he would not go in. He could not go in;
His father was later awake. He was soon gone.
Now his mother weeps by the old lady’s bed
She does not cry for grandma,
Grandma was weak, frail. Grandma died peacefully.
She cries for her own dying family;
She cries for the father who would not talk to his son.
Father, he calls.
His father stands up. Turns around.
Looks past him. Walks past him.
Father, he calls again. Cracked voice, broken heart.
Forgive me, father, he pleads
Now I know what I have done.
Now I understand what I did.
Please, father, forgive me!
His father stands stiff. Unmoving. Moved.
Have you come back to us?
Will you come back to us?
Or will it be me who is lying on that pale sheet
when you finally decide to return,
Return to where you belong?
Father, he sobs. Look at me, dad,
His father turns around.
Eyes that for years have not looked into each other
Eyes that for years have looked past each others
And the hands that enveloped mine once
The arms that lifted me high once
The shoulders that seated me once
The man who gave me my eyes, my voice.
I walk into those arms again.
I have a father again. I am a son again.
My grandmother is dead.
We grieve for her.
I rejoice for my family.
(May the faithful departed rest in peace)