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The Funeral

From the archives:

July 18, 1994

Death is something that happens to people who are still alive. My Grandmother Kio died in the early hours today. For her death is a passive verb, it is the act of not doing anything anymore, yet for the people who love her there is a flourish of activity and emotion. For us, death is an action verb, and more of us actually die, or maybe we all do just a little.

I don't do funerals well. I've lost many friends, and never went to funerals. I never wanted to give that much respect to the disease that killed them and that I share. I just say a little prayer and cry a little cry, and die a little bit, and then grow a little and move on.

Grandma Ruth is different. She wasn't one of my college buddies. She was directly responsible for my existence.

I lived with her for about eight months as a child of nine. Dad was unemployed and he taught me to fish the waters of Potter County. I think I learned to love nature the summer I lived with Grandma Kio. I owe her more than I realized before today and now it is a bit late. I hope she realized how I feel about her, 'cause I surely didn't show her while she was on the earth.


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