Saturday, 24 January 2015

Death and Reflection.

I learned today that my cousin, Linda, died four weeks ago. I got the news via a voicemail message from my daughter. No doubt she got it from her mother, and I expect her mother got it from Linda’s husband. I never really got on with him, so maybe that’s why he chose not to apprise me of the fact. Then again, neither did the girls, my first cousins once removed with whom I did get on. But then they, like most members of my fractured family, were (and still are, what’s left of them) dour doers, whereas I was always the dreaming drifter. Drifting out of people’s orbits has been a regular habit of mine, and my cousin’s was no exception.

Still, I’m curious to know what she died of. Although a fair bit older than me (she used to take me to the rec to play on the swings when I was a little boy and she was a teenager, before my stepfather forbade further contact with my natural father’s family) she was well short of being old enough to have succumbed to old age in the usual way. Maybe I’ll never know, and I don’t suppose it matters. No doubt her funeral is done and dusted, and she is come to dust or is in the process of so doing.

In consequence of the news, I had a session with some photo albums tonight. It led to the question it always leads to: what the hell is it all about? And, odd as it might seem, I kept hearing that old rhyme:

It isn’t the cough
That carries you off
But the coffin
They carries you off in

As rhymes go, it isn’t entirely rational. But neither is life.

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