I was fortunate that when my father died, I had the freedom and space to mourn his passing. I am a strong believer in feeling one’s feelings, expressing one’s emotions and being real.

The last month has been rife with preparations for yesterday’s funeral for my father-in-law. I watched as Sharon prepared: 1. transport from palliative care to funeral home. 2. Arrangements with funeral home. 3. dealing with the liquidator. 4. choosing the design for a commemorative bookmark. 5. Choosing the music for several different parts of the funeral. 6. Digitizing photos and creating a photo montage for the visitation. 7. dealing with the caterer. 8. Dealing with her mum. I am exhausted just writing about it, but you get the idea. The mourning has come in waves for Sharon. The lull between duties. Maybe a photo triggers a fond memory, a saved phone message. Much of the mourning came as death approached nearer and nearer.

My song is a creation culled from many memories, not just my own father’s funeral and burial. The first funeral I ever saw was JFK on a black and white TV. It was grey and cold in late November 1963. Then, 4 grandparents and so on. It seems as we age, there are more funerals now than ever before. Not just relatives, but friends, siblings leaving too soon as well. The heroes I had as a younger man are dropping. Jazz musicians, songwriters, sports heroes. We are all hurtling towards death anyways, so I make the most out of living each day to the fullest.

In “Grey Day” I tried to evoke the loneliness of mourning and the restorative power of crying and the need for fellowship to heal and continue. Not a day goes by where I don’t have reminders of my father. I miss him, but no longer to the point of tears. Music helped.

Blue…makes me think of you…anew…
grey… day…grey car took you far away

Colours fade if you let them
So wet them, so let them
Feelings fade if you wet them,
So wet them, and let them

Rain… lets me feel the pain…again…
Get… wet…grey day won’t let me forget

Problems leave if you let them,
Don’t fret them, forget them
Friends return if you feed them,
So feed them, you need them

Hurt… grovel in the dirt…alert!…
low… blow…know there is nowhere to go

© 2004 I.G.H.

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