Sunday, June 22, 2008

It has been a beautiful weekend, except that over in Yelm my friend Brandon had to go to the funeral of a boy who would have been 10 today, given another week. It is nearly impossible to make meaning out of grief, but if anyone can make the saddest things exquisite, it's Brandon. No one should have to lose their best friend at 10 years old, but life is often cruelest to the youngest. Perhaps because they have the luxury of ignorance about the weight of the passage of time. They heal faster from the blows they still should never be made to suffer.

And all that I've been able to think about is Raymond Carver's "Lemonade," a poem about a boy who drowns in the river on his way back to the car to fetch a thermos of lemonade. The boy's father blames himself--"A man who, having seen everything now--his dead son rise from the river in the grip of metal pinchers and turn and turn in circles flying above the tree line--would like nothing more now than to just die. But dying is for the sweetest ones."

He would have been 10 today. Is he still 10? Do we stop ageing, or do we keep going as long as there are still people to remember us? It is unbearably tragic, and I hate that there is nothing that I can say to make the burden easier on my friend and his son. It's more than anyone should have to take.

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