When I was twelve, my grandfather passed away. It was my first experience with losing a loved one. I recall two specific things from that time. In life, my grandfather had a horrid sense of direction. In death, the hearse made a wrong turn. The road was an unmarked dead end and the entire procession had to turn around. The other thing I remember has long become a fixed image in my brain.
During my grandfather’s wake and funeral, I did not cry. I remember thinking, ‘”Everyone is trying to make me cry. The sad words, the sad music, the other crying people are all trying to make me cry. I’m not going to cry.” This mantra worked until it didn’t. I held in my tears for three days. I almost made it to the finish line. As I began walking away from Papa’s freshly dug plot, it hit – like a ton of salty wet bricks. I was body-jerk sobbing when a surreal image popped into my head. There was Papa, burly and thick, his great sausage fingers throwing meatballs into a deep silver pot. His head was turned to the right so I could see the big smile on his face. A smile so wide, his horn-rimmed glasses rode up his cheeks. I could smell the tomato sauce – there in that big beautiful white kitchen.
Everyone who departs earth joins Papa in The Big White Kitchen. My grandparents are playing cards on the round white table, nearby a gallon of Carlo Rossi rests. There’s nothing but laughter and smiles all around. It’s sunny and smells of tomato sauce and meatballs. Everyone is joyful in The Big White Kitchen, even the dogs running around the table legs.
Thank you. May you dream of your loved ones in wonderful places…
Wings created with Prisma pencil 2 weeks ago after observing a butterfly.