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it’s not often you get to watch a funeral at 4am on your laptop and it’s not often that you want to. and when it’s over, you’re not sure if you should say you’re glad you got to or that you’re grateful. you certainly shouldn’t say you loved every minute, not out loud anyway.

well, i got up at 3:45am because i wanted to watch my Uncle Greg’s funeral and i’m glad, i’m grateful, and i loved most every minute. it allowed me to be there, to journey with my family–even those i really don’t know well at all. there’s a gift that comes with being present and i got to be present today in a very unconventional manner. is it strange that i’m watching the replay, too?

i took snapshots of some of my favourite moments, like when my cousin, Simon, got up to read a passage from Revelation. there were good brother moments when one began to cry and was comforted by another. and then my cousin, my uncle’s daughter, Lakeshia. i’m imagining that she didn’t want to read what she’d wrote–perhaps afraid she’d cry–and she asked my mum to read it for her. she may have said, “Auntie Pam, you go ahead,” to which my mum would have certainly replied, “only if you come with me.” it was tough to hear the tears, to not be able to offer a hug.

one lovely moment was when Uncle Norman got up and called Lakeshia to the platform. it was a “you will come here” call and what followed confirmed not control but love, his commitment to his brother’s flesh and blood.

perhaps the heaviest moment was seeing my grandmother walk up to my mum as she stood at the coffin, looking at her youngest brother one last time. the two Lammy matriarchs, you could say. the elder still being a mother, the younger, still being a big sister. neither anywhere close to being able to ever shirk duty, experiencing the first loss of a child and sibling.

the video feed kept running for quite a while after the service was through. i got to see uncles, grand uncles, aunties, grand aunties, cousins, 2nd cousins, the whole tribe…hugging, holding. mums being mums, uncles being uncles…duty still calls and with my family, duty is wrapped up in love, shrink wrapped perhaps. it’s not going anywhere. like it or not, they’re sticking with you and they’ll do all they can to have you stick with them. i’d have it no other way.

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