[My mother died in 2016. This is from my remarks at her memorial.]
PERSISTENCE: SING IT THIS WAY
A memorial service unites you and us in a common undertaking to hold on, briefly, to someone who is departing. In some sense it’s a ritual of denial that we indulge in with your support. It says, “Don’t go. Don’t go yet.” As long as we are in this room, talking about Martha, thinking about her, hearing music that evokes her, we hold her, in spirit. Her going doesn’t have quite the finality that it will have when this ceremony ends. Then, life will go on, and each of us, in our way, will wrap ourselves around the hollow spot that she leaves, and start healing it, the way a tree heals itself around the wound of a lopped-off limb.
(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)