Friday, October 30, 2009

Memories that come after the loss of a loved one

From Caring for God's People, by Philip Culbertson, p 235.
"In his novel Tangi (a “weeping” or funeral), Witi Ihimaera portrays a young protagonist whose father’s death revives memories of his having been left behind once as a small child:

E pa, if I could I would grasp those tickling hands and force them back through all those yesterdays gone, just to be with you again.  We had such good times together.  It was good to fell your hand in mine.
Do you remember e pa, that time whne you took me into town one crowded night so many years ago?  I was only a little boy then, about five I suppose.
You wait here, you said. Then you disappeared with the crowd and left me waiting for you on the pavement. 
         E pa, I waited and waited. But you didn’t come back.  Where did you go? I tried not to cry because you’d said that only babies cry.
         Are you lost little boy? A lady asked me.
         No, I told her. My Daddy, he’s just gone away for a while. HE’s coming back to get me, though.  He told me to wait here.
         So the lady left me. I wanted to shout: Come back! But she was gone.
         I waited and waited, e pa. I was frightened. All those people, they jostled and pushed against me. They couldn’t see me; I was so small. I felt as if I was in a land full of giants.
         In the end I cried, Dad. I couldn’t help it. And some of the passers-by, they asked me if I was lost, just like that lady asked.  But I pushed them away and decided I would find you. 
         I wandered along the streets and everybody was laughing and having a good time. Where were you, Dad?...

         Then I saw you. You were looking for me just as I was looking for you. And I shouted:
Dad! Dad!
And you lifted me up and hugged me.
Turi Turi [hush hush], Son. I’m here.
I hit you hard.
Don’t leave me again, Dad. Don’t you leave me again.  You promised you wouldn’t.

And yet his father has left him now, in spite of that promise. (12-13)

But death is a part of life, and it’s a part of life that I don’t like."

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