(aka Claude Rene Paquette which is the only time you will see my real name in print.)
Just recently, my Dad passed away on March 19, 2016, and the sudden emotional response after the phone call from Timmins created ripples of memories and scenarios conjured up in my mind distracting all agendas that I had planned … it was much like dropping a Massive Rock in a pond creating massive ripples in the water which broke the silence from the Splash to the residual reactions from local wildlife…and the waves it creates still ripples in all 360 degrees of your life. That’s what happens in the announcement of a death especially from someone you loved, admired or simply respected.
Throughout many cultures and with our current research, there is really no one way to grieve, everyone; we must accept the scenario that our reaction to a person is all unique and are all proponents to our experience with the shared deceased. When my mom called from Timmins, and I heard the news that my Dad died, I was just in the middle of what seemed to be important stuff but in reality it was not, because everything could wait. Being a proud Gay Man I started committing “Carbicide”… gorging on MCD’s burgers and fries, lots of beer, of which this gorging really didn’t stop for a week until I realized after I got back home from the Funeral, and being on the can too long; I needed to stop.
But honestly, and I admit, I really had a great upbringing and simply very proud to be a Canadian as my Dad taught me. He taught me the attributes of good hard work, and that working hard and taking pride in your work is important. He also taught me that great physical work is good for a man, “...just treat it has a work out while you’re getting paid.” He would say. The Ripples of Death brings us back memories of childhood. Many memories came flooding back to me while I took the long 12 hour bus ride to Timmins ON… while committing “Carbicide” … and trying to play Angry Birds on my tablet, but nothing can distract me from the Ripples of Death bouncing in my head.
Seriously, we should welcome the Ripples of Death because whether it stirs great or bad memories in conclusion it doesn’t matter; why, because the Ripples of Death stresses us to grow whether we like it or not.
Personally, I had good memories that came to my mind regarding my dad; you know, the kind stuff mostly, there was never much bad stuff from my Dad, except the few moments when my sister and I were totally guilty for trying to steal beer from my his Beer Fridge downstairs … yeah he counted them, at least two cases of 24 and some in the crisper as well… but he knew his inventory. Just like he knew where every tool was in his workshop, of which I would completely mess up, making stupid things like boomerangs that I learned from a book.
Sometimes … the Ripples of Death may create memories of aches, pains, sorrows of times lost and times never to be gained. The Ripples of Death create moments when everyone who normally attends a funeral greets each other with kindness which demonstrates our greatness and tolerance for the respect of the deceased. The Ripples of Death may force us to look at each other with deeper love and understanding. The Ripples of Death may force us to contemplate our relationships, and greets us with the goodness of that person, regardless of each other’s flaws. The Ripples of Death may force families to talk for the first time, remembering the need to confront our ills of each other. The Ripples of Death can bring new life, new moments of growth and forgiveness. But on the other hand the Ripples of Death can be destructive if we don’t handle it well.
The Ripples of Death can either bring out the best or the worst of us it’s a choice. But the majority of the time I would think that The Ripples of Death brings out the best of us. Why, because someone whom is dead, is always and with a subconscious reverence, a flat reminder that we are going to die as well; which makes us all humble in those moments of grief. That sentiment I would guarantee to be true for us all.
My observations is unique though, when it comes to discussing death, for instance at my Dad’s Funeral I realized ,at this time in our Society, we rarely say the word “Die” anymore or the word Death, we’ve created a whole new language for someone who is dead ... we now say “He’s Passed On, or He’s with Jesus or “He’s no longer with us” or the optimist would say “He’s On Cloud Nine right now”, knowing that he has no reference or knowledge of what Cloud Nine is …. or simply from a Catholic saying “He’s in Heaven” “Ile est aux cieux”, or in Hell if you hated that person under your breath … or the obscure one I hear now - “He’s Gone” that one I don’t get? … Gone where? …Even a child would reply in such a matter. And then there is the New Age Way - He’s Crossed Over … Crossed over… crossed over really? That just gives me a Dominatrix thought of crossing over to where again?!
My thoughts at first seemed ridiculous but in reflection, I realized that we should laugh that we are so kind in heart, perhaps to create such phraseology to ease the blow of the word death during our moments of grief. Yet for the only intent I can see we do this craziness for, is simply to give respect to a life that has occupied this Earth whom had a purpose of which we either shared experiences of loves, dreams, thoughts, and pains with this Human Being whom is now dead.
Proudly, my Dad had at lot of people that came to his funeral, it was not because he was rich, not because he had fancy titles, but because my Dad held great virtues that made it splendid to be around him, and that Ladies and Gentlemen should be our goal has well.
In Memory of Rene Paquette
November 26, 1943 to March 19, 2016