Yet More Loss

Beltane                                                              Beltane Moon

Got back from the retreat about 12:30.  Took a shower, rested a bit, then hopped in the car for Moon’s reviewal at Washburn-McCreavy in Bloomington.

The bulk of the mourners were Chinese, the Fong family, but there were friends of Scott and of Yin who, like me, are round eyes.   A bowl of red envelopes, take one please, sat next to cards of hand-written calligraphy and a second bowl of hard candy.  An order of service for the funeral the next day had a color photograph of Moon on the cover.

Moon lay in a casket at the end of the first hall, hands crossed over her chest, fabric work and calligraphy with her.  Next to the coffin a video played, showing pictures from Moon’s life, including one with a curly headed Yin, young and beautiful.

Mourners wore red bands to indicate celebration of Moon’s life, though a few wore black bands to indicate her centenary; while 97 at her death, Chinese custom adds four years, so her age according to Chinese tradition was 101.

There were the usual clots of well-wishers gathered around person they know, wandering from board to board of photographs and watching, again, the video shown in two places in a hall separate from the reviewal room itself.

I spoke to Yin, then to Scott, said we’d talk later and left.

When I got home, I had an e-mail from Warren that his father, Wayne, whom he had put in hospice care only Wednesday, had completed his journey.  Warren’s phrase.  Warren, referencing the end of Longfellow’s Hiawatha, said he thought his Dad might last longer, but “he was in a faster canoe.”

These are times of transition, of change, of loss, of gathering in the lessons of a lifetime and using them for this third, last phase of our own journeys.  We knew it before the retreat and now we have fresh and poignant evidence.


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