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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 17: Movement and transition


I’m so sorry about being mad yesterday. I was mad at everything. You should not be dead and Dan should not be in the hospital. Sev and Mads should not be grieving for their mates whether new found over months or long held over years. And your mom and I should be rolling through the summer with mornings of making your lunch and afternoons of hanging out with you at the Karsten Bar, the 14 foot granite stone at the head end of the forest. So I’ve transitioned and can only hope this is true for us and others.

The change yesterday was palpable. It highlighted the difference between these two words. Movement is so direct in its meaning. Action. Transition is much loftier. Reflective. Yesterday was both.

In the late morning, a gray day with mist unusual for Oregon, we drove to Musgrove, the funeral home where you were cremated. The change from the overcast mist outside to the somber shades of pale inside were just the beginning of the transition in our life as we moved through the hall to the same room where we had sat completing forms one week earlier. We moved past a couch in place for symbolic reasons across the hallway from a chapel, a room for attending a funeral with seating in unmovable rows. It all seemed so foreign. We sat in the same order as Dennis brought in your urns, very awkwardly placed in a bag. Yes, the cruel reality of your death now rests in ashes. But they were/are beautiful urns, as urns go. You would be pleased. It’s all about the UO Ducks. Some small urns for family, some bracelet urns for the gals. And the big Dogg urn for us to take home.

Dennis was his usual careful self, clear and slow, pedantic. It must be the practice of this industry as someone in a hurry over matters of death would be odd. The juxtaposition of checking all the urns with an order form was strange, very strange. Another manifestation of transition but now as a transaction. He was kind in his comments about never having seen a family so accepting of this death forced upon us with no vilification, no hate, no anger, pointing to a cause or a person. Death has no reason even though we often try to impose one. Usually, it’s an aftermath. Always a conjecture. No ability to refute.

The drive back to the house was movement. Past the old Hyundai plant, past Churchill High School, past the SEHS high school football field. We walked into the house and this movement settled into a transition. The radio was playing. KRVM, your mom’s favorite station. Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale. “She said, 'There is no reason'…And the truth is plain to see”.

You now live in the kitchen with us. A beautiful urn in a beautiful hutch with a glass case. You always loved cooking and eating. So there. And if I squint hard enough, I can see you seated next to us at the dinner table.


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