September 14th, 2006

Adrasteius: Really?  Really.

(no subject)

An American flag had been draped over the coffin. After the priest had finished his service, two members of the Coast Guard walked solemnly down the aisle between the pews. They stood on either side of the coffin and saluted. One of them lifted the red rosary that was arranged on top of the flag and set it reverently on the priest's altar.

Taps began to play as the two soldiers raised the flag and folded it by squares, while I sat in my pew, hyperventilating quietly. It was the same room in which I had come to bury my father, hardly a year past.

I knew that this wasn't about me, but I couldn't help it. What could I say to Steve, what could I do, other than hug him more fiercely than he liked and try not to cry on his suit.

I couldn't tell him it was going to be okay, that it was going to get better, because it wasn't and it's not. If I told him the truth, I would say that every day is going to be awful, and you don't know when it's ever going to stop.

But I didn't think that would be appropriate.

The soldiers brought the folded flag to Steve and his mother in the front pew, thanked them for the service of Steve's father and his mother's husband, and then they left, quiet and somber as they had entered.

As everyone stood up to go, a baby brought by a relative began to cry: it was an abrasive, primal howl.

I thought to myself, that baby is the only person here who knows what's really going on.