Final Goodbye

Today I visited my school church after 5 odd years. In spite of passing it everyday to work, I never stopped by. But today was different. Over a 100 people had gathered in this 450 yr old building to bid a final goodbye to Deacon Jerome D'souza, father of one of my closest friends. There were many familiar faces belonging to the small catholic community of Poinsur. There were our football coaches, there were old principals on the dias helping the other priests with the ceremony, there were retired teachers, school children, old friends, mothers of old friends, the pork shop owner, teachers in service and numerous other family members and friends. They all turned out in large numbers to take part in this mass.

The goodbye mass as I call it. Silent prayers, recalling of pleasant memories, the choir singing hymns and the priests presenting a different perspective of death. I am not a devout person, nor hold anything against the devout. But this was different. The atmosphere albeit filled with grief also resonated with celebration of Uncle's life. I never met the man but he was a respected member of the community. Everyone on the podium spoke highly of him and his contributions towards the Parish and the various organisation that he was an active member of. I couldn't help draw comparisons with the last rites of my community. It's a matter of outlook I said to myself later on but this was clearly diffusing the sadness. Which doesn't happen otherwise.

At the time of burial, music was played. Everyone gathered around the grave as the coffin was lowered in it. Freshly dug up mud lay on the corners and as last respects I threw some in it and said a small prayer. All school friends met her and consoled her. I was really glad that I could be there at that moment because our presence mattered to her. I could see in her family's eyes. Everyone hugged them and moved out. There were tea and biscuits but I didn't take any. I was overwhelmed. Seeing people smile albeit politely to each other on a funeral was a first. And it made me think. Maybe this is the best way to bid goodbye to anyone. By being happy and cherishing their memories. Maybe thats how one should deal with relationships that didn't work out. Recall the memories that made one smile and consider oneself fortunate for all that happened. Bid goodbye with a heavy heart but not with regret and remorse.

May his soul Rest in Peace.

Comments

This moved me to tears. <3

Indeed life should be spent remembering the best we have encountered in people. :)

Nothing like a goodbye smile.
Knowing you'd be reunited one day.
Rushikesh said…
Hey Mitchelle, that is the best way to honour the times we have spent together.

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