The Bustle in a House

There’s something about the morning after death. Everything sounds so quiet as if life came to a halt and the earth stopped going around; paying respects for the dead. And although you know that people die every day, you only feel that way when death hits close, someone you know, someone you care about. And then you realize that nothing has stopped, because life doesn’t stop for anyone, it’s because you’re living in that intense moment that you can’t process how life just goes on.

And really, it’s amazing how life goes on, but you’ve got to think when you’re in the middle of the ordeal, how do we just go on about our lives, laughing and going to work and doing all kinds of mundane stuff pretending that we’re not going to die? Actually we’re not pretending, we know we’re going to die but we just can’t believe it, it doesn’t register in our minds most of the time and we choose to foget it; because if you realized this fact, I mean if you really understood that one day you and everyone else will be dead like you realize it the moment you see the dead body of a loved one pass by, carried by 5 or 6 men to be laid down 6 feet under, if you really don’t forget that fact for one moment, how do you expect life to go on without people turning into hermits or losing their minds? Or maybe, just maybe, it will be a Utopia, but the human race has proved throughout history that we’re not perfect so, I guess the Utopia is a far-fetched possibility. So yeah, as we always say, thank God for the blessing of forgetfulness, but at the same time if you overdo it you might one day find that you didn’t make use of your days as much as you should’ve, just when it’s too late.

You know what’s a blessing too? Selfishness. Imagine that each time a person dies around the world your heart aches and as it does when it’s someone close to you. Nobody will be able to get anything done. Yet it’s a blessing in moderation, abusing it could really backfire.

And it makes you think, is anything really worth spending your days away from those you love or doing things you hate? Is anything worth fighting over? And then you think, why are so afraid of taking risks? What’s the worse that’s going to happen? I’m going to die? We’re all going to anyway…

Death is fascinating.  It brings you closer to God and to people. It brings families together. You know, one of the best things about a condolence house is when everyone leaves and close family members come together, talking about their memories of the deceased, or how they all should cooperate to support his family in every way they can, or to just have a few decent laughs after 3 days of exhausting grief. So don’t let the chance go by, if you feel the willingness to get closer to God then act  on it because you never know if or when it will come back again, and if you feel the willingness to let those you love know it then let them know it, because you never know when or how you’re going to part with them.

As someone told me a couple of days ago: Death is not the moment of departure, it’s the feeling of loss that you develop day after day when you miss that person and you realize they’re not here anymore. That’s why when we were discussing how to break the sad news to my 6 year-old cousin, I suggested that we don’t. Let him realize it at his own pace, little by little, and hopefully he’ll finally make peace with it.

So after the ceremonies are over and people go back to their own lives, because they’re not the one who’s dead, then comes the cleaning up and turning the page. This is when you have to sort out what’s left of that person, down to their most trivial positions that they will never use again, the bustle in a house as Emily Dickenson put it in her poem that keeps coming to mind year after year.

The bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth, –

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

The Bustle in a House

The Morning after Death

Is solemnest of industries

Enacted opon Earth –


The Sweeping up the Heart

And putting Love away

We shall not want to use again

Until Eternity –