The next day, I went apartment hunting. I found a tiny efficiency in Lower Mānoa Valley, about the size of a bread box, that was within my budget. I was thankful that O‘ahu Cemetery took pity on me and let me pay for my dad’s funeral on an installment plan.
My mom’s parents had paid for her funeral, but given my dad’s telling me about my grandfather abusing my mother, there was no way I’d have asked them for money or anything else.
There are two kinds of funerals. One is joyful, a party, a celebration of the deceased’s life. The other is awful, all tears and great sorrow.
Jerry’s funeral was horrible. No speaker could get through what they wanted to say without breaking down. His parents were an absolute wreck. Children dying before their parents is a breach of expected progression, an unnatural order.
When I said hello to his parents they cried even more because of my connection to them and to Jerry. We’d spent so much time together from the age of three that we really were like brothers. His parents viewed me almost as a son.
It looked like Lieutenant Chan and HPD had concealed it from them, and I certainly did not feel guilty for withholding my knowledge of Jerry’s probable connection with organized crime. I did, however, feel tremendously guilty for having been the motivator of his death.
Even I did not escape crying at points throughout the service.
If it were possible, the burial scene was even more disturbing. At one point, while the minister was speaking, Jerry’s mom, wailing, threw herself on his coffin. No one made any attempt to stop her, so she cried like this, hugging his coffin, for several minutes.
I was one of those who placed a rose on the coffin. It was so not Jerry. It made me smile, thinking that he’d rather be running around with his camera, filming this event from all angles. Cinema verité, baby.
Exhausted, I bussed it back to Mānoa, wedged myself into my new place, and collapsed on the bed.
When I woke up, it was dark. I fixed a cup of coffee, then sat at the plywood surface that had been nailed to the wall to serve as a desk. I took out my journal and began to write about what had happened since I’d stepped off the plane.
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Aloha #WriterSaturday, I hope you are safe and well wherever you may be. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use it to inspire a piece of writing and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )