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Spectacle of Death

General Poetry - post, comment, review, critique
Tim J Brennan
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Tim J Brennan » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:50 am

Hi, Deb,

Thanks for your extended reply. You have a treasure trove of experiences there to write poetry about. Looking forward to seeing some of it.

Take care and peace to you. The young man sounds like a real loss.

As to your second post (Too much?).....no. Not nearly too much to be too much. Write on.

Tim

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Gyppo
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Gyppo » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:40 pm

Deb, it's the curse of being a writer, or of being empathetic, that we notice things which we'd sometimes rather not be aware of.  Maybe we are too coldly  analytical at times and can't hide behind a comfortable gloss of conventional platitudes.  Once we have noticed them our minds worry away at these little details.

Sometimes we can work them out by writing about it.  Either privately or for public consumption.  Sometimes it takes years.  Sometimes it never makes sense.

Life can be messy at times and we humans are driven to try and make sense of it.

Peace.

Gyppo

PS:  I know one undertaker who doesn't charge at all for infants' funerals.  Not even 'costs only'.  But he has the sense not to advertise this personal choice.  He also confided that he adds £20 to every other funeral to build up his 'baby fund'.

They're a strange breed.   Doing a job that most of us couldn't. 
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

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Colm Roe
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Colm Roe » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:16 am

Too much? I wonder, is this annoying to more practiced poets?
~Deb
Never!
About ten years ago I wrote eulogies for my parents, my mother and father-in law, my wife, a close friend and one for me in case my wife struggled to find something nice to say about me :lol:
It was just an exercise.
I have only used one, for my beloved father-in-law. I had to arrange his funeral, and spent so much time with that I wouldn't have had enough time to write a eulogy that did him justice.
When I speak in public I'm careful about my words. And I am so glad I spent the time to contemplate his life and send him off properly...eulogies are special, he was too, and the congregation needs to know that. Writing poetry certainly helped to cut out the generics.

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Deb
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:06 am

Wow. Thanks, you guys. I'm feeling encouraged. I will come back to this but my brain needs to soak in yet three more deaths that I learned of today.

I was notified my ex-boyfriend's parents passed away three days apart from each other on December 27th and December 30th. He and I lived together for over five years and they treated me like their own daughter. They cared for and about me better than my own family did. A mutual friend informed me via text so I asked him how their daughter, Chris was handling the deaths of her parents. The message I got back was, "Shit Deb, I'm sorry. I thought you knew. Chris died of cancer last year."   :cry:

As far as the second part of Austin's funeral went, if it wasn't completely inappropriate, I would have taken the microphone from the woman who officiated yesterday's service. She made it all about her for an entire hour. I'm still disgusted about it. She repeated herself throughout. It was completely unprofessional. These are the new owners of our town's mortuary and it is disappointingly obvious that it is family run and they are cutting corners everywhere. The hearse was even in poor repair and ready for retirement.

There was a pile of dog crap next to where they put the coffin down and one of the Pallbearers stepped in it. Austin was a big kid, probably close to 300lbs so they were struggling as it was. 

On a high note, the party at the gathering we had after the funeral was healing for everyone. Old friends got together and that was nice. I was reminded of how much I loved hanging out with our old neighbors. There were lots of laughs and tears and food - so much food!

As a tribute during the funeral, five Harleys circled the burial site. I guess it's a thing. I thought they were being astonishingly disrespectful at first. I'm so glad I didn't get snarky about them being rude before I knew the deal. I have a tendency to open my mouth only to change feet.  I'll have to write about it. 

AJ, I've had more than one in-depth writing and relating lost due to not saving things in WORD as I type. I still forget and kick myself from time to time. I think all of us have lost some good writing at one time or another. It's maddening. 


 

ajduclos
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by ajduclos » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:45 pm

Good lord, Deb... you have much pain and loss and memories to chew on.  I hurt for you...........

Ya, I've lost many potentially good (perhaps I fantasize) writes from the lack-a-save demon... and I doubt I'll ever learn.......

Been thinking about S5-L4 in "Spectacle of Death".  Perhaps "before regret-filled sighs"........... just a thought.  I do like the way S5 continues and broadens the thoughts in S4.

Take a breath... and do keep writing.

Aj   

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Deb
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:15 am

ajduclos wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:45 pm
Good lord, Deb... you have much pain and loss and memories to chew on.  I hurt for you...........


Been thinking about S5-L4 in "Spectacle of Death".  Perhaps "before regret-filled sighs"........... just a thought.  I do like the way S5 continues and broadens the thoughts in S4.

Take a breath... and do keep writing.

Aj   

I'm okay. No need to hurt for me. It's been almost 30 years since I saw them. Virginia (his mom) and I kept in touch through Facebook until a few years ago, when she stopped posting there. I'm thankful they went together. I couldn't imagine one without the other. They were married for 73 years!

"before regret-filled sighs" I like that. Stealing it. ;)

Thank you.

~Deb


 

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Wren Tuatha
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Wren Tuatha » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:32 pm

Hi Deb,

Lots going on here! Anger over bad behavior is a great place to start a poem, or to use a poem to defuse the feelings, to be sure! As an overall impression, I agree that, as this poem stays in generalities and suggestions of specifics, it gets into cliche territory. Also, although end rhyme can be very effective and musical, with the generalities it feels trite or lightweight. 

I love the subject and the tone. They say that love and death are the most common subjects in poetry, and therefore the hardest ones to write while bringing something fresh to say. I think your issues with the funeral are exactly a fresh doorway into grief that readers can connect with. Glad I got to see this!

Wren

Trish Saunders
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Trish Saunders » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:45 pm

Deb, I'm sorry for the loss and for what seems like callous behavior (or at least highly unprofessional behavior) from the funeral directors. I've had the numbing experience of receiving relentless selling pitches and upselling, while you're trying to pick out a coffin...Then I've had the opposite, warmth and kindness that got us through difficult times. 

you've received excellent advice already, so I won't add to it. I liked the poem. Warm wishes.
 

indar
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by indar » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:24 pm

Hi Deb,

I recently posted a piece I referred to as a "grief write". There is something cathartic about posting such a thing to the fellow writers that have participated, some times for years, with you on a poetry forum where the power of poetry is celebrated. We understand the need to process through writing--and being read by a supportive group. Thank you for this.

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