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The Adjacency to Death


I have since forgotten the remission rates for brain tumors, but I Google searched estimates the day before my distant adolescent friend’s ‘Celebration of Life’ memorial service. He was fortunate to know some miraculous probability in his designated age group and tumor type once, which led him to recover, even get married, but plunder returned. He braved many waves in 23 years of life, but missed the low shore. 


Upon entry, we were greeted by stiff smiles gesturing us into a moderate size room. Inside, a procession of performance followed. At my distant adolescent friend’s service the minister was plainly young. An ingénu awaiting to practice his word. While I read the afternoon’s cleanly bulleted agenda, the full room settled, maybe we observed comfort in the structure of time slots designated for speakers, a singer, and the final sermon made by the young minister behind the warm wood lectern and before repeating images on the projector screen—I suppose this is an effect of ineluctable death especially of the prolonged origin. I watched the minister dramatize his speech with spirit thrusting through his arms and intermittent smiling. The room broke with ease, cut by the word’s energy and pink-flushed cheeks. He directed the message to the half the mourners—with whom I sat amongst—commanding proselytism and repentance, calling unto his docent God while careful not to mention my distant friend’s enlightened leader before marriage—Buddha. I looked over the doing of death. I looked over the olive skin and silk black hair surrounding me, at the family mourning for their son and brother and cousin and also, separated by an aisle, at my distant friend’s svelte, pale widow and her family absorbing the preacher’s wage to mission in death’s name. Indeed it was a centuries-old celebration.

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