Requiem #1


Requiem of a bird


Requiem” is the accusative singular form of the Latin noun requies, “rest, repose”. Requiem is also used to describe any sacred composition that sets to music religious texts which would be appropriate at a funeral.

I prefer the first definition. I find it fitting then when I see anything at rest in death that the sacred composition of life is singing through them. The peace achieved in death by the one who left is something elusive and therefore sacred.

My first memories of death come from the quantity of funerals I attended in my childhood. Large families often equated to the very real idea of ‘life moves on’. What I remember most was the Ritual. From the Rosary with gorgeous as well as overdone flowers in quantities I had never seen to person after person kneeling, crying praying and often lamenting in front of the deceased who was at peace. I had no feeling of the event, no tears, no idea someone who had once impacted the world had left. There was just a picture memory of the death after death and the procession of events that followed. The mass, the lines of people, the priest, the pal bearers, the cars all in a row, the headlights, the tears, the black everywhere,  the tissues, more flowers, the dirt, the metal, the grave all alone.  The Ritual had no distinct human meaning for me as a child but it had lasting effects for my appreciation for what I witnessed with no emotional attachment. I saw beauty. I saw peace and I saw life.

What does it say about me to see so much death and remain detached? I have wondered about this since I realized what I witnessed was at best painful. What I know is I am not the only person who derives multiple definitions from Death. It informs our life,  it impacts our decisions and is the ultimate judge for how we live our life.