Monday, March 30, 2015

* And all the roads that lead you there were winding. And all the lights that light the way are blinding.There are many things that I would like to say to you but I don't know how

Yesterday was Silvia's wake. Her body was there in a closed casket but her spirit was present in the animation when people talked about her, in the grieving and the loss apparent throughout the room, in the fact that people stayed for hours, no one wanting to leave, and in the wild and raucous profusion of brilliant colored flowers crowding the room. Silvia was a color warrior, and this amazing excess of vibrant blooming flowers was a fitting tribute.

Silvia's oldest brother, Manolito, was still in Cuba until I was an adult, but he was the thread of loss throughout her childhood, the piece that her parents were longing for. Now Silvia is gone and the remaining six siblings are again left bereft and longing. My heart broke at the moment where the six of them walked her casket out of the church.

Today at the mass to celebrate Silvia's life I read a piece from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, at my cousin Carmen's request. I was honored to be a part of the service, although the words of faith that would have brought Silvia so much comfort don't speak to me the same ways. Here is the poem I choose in the private tribute of my head, and the public one written here. Poets give me comfort. 
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver,
New and Selected Poems
The time has come to let Silvia go, far too young, far too early, and with all of us left longing for her light and sweetness, but grateful that she was calm and ready, and secure in her faith when she crossed over this black river of loss. 
This is a poem my husband Jeff wrote, read by him, that was filmed by our daughter Cassidy. It's also a fitting tribute. 

Ultimately I am so glad to be considered part of her family. Ultimately her light still shines, and will always be shining, an example, a compass, an anchor, a guiding star. 

*Wonderwall by Oasis

1 comment:

  1. Oh sweetie, I had no idea :-(. This is beautiful. You are beautiful. And I hope you are wrapping your arms around your husband right this very second...