Thursday, April 27, 2006


The next morning when I arrived at the funeral home I found out that the six men would be Ed`s pallbearers. They were Nam veterans, men from the bar where he had been going near his home. I followed the procession to Ed`s church for the Catholic service, then to the cemetary.

At the burial site I felt a weakness in my knees, a void somewhere within. Death touches us so deeply. There is really no one`s death, no one who we love, that is not also our death, a piece of us. The stark reality of our own existence, the barest time left to us, brings a shudder to our souls. That little conceit buried deeply in our hearts, “Thank God it`s not me.” I felt that cravenness, that recreant scream inside.

It is not death that makes cowards of us all, it`s the living with that knowledge. All of what the world knows of us, all of our personality, our character, is nothing more than our feeble attempt to deny our finiteness. And yet, in our time on earth, we are sometimes fortunate enough to be touched by another`s struggle. The basic humanness of it.

Whenever I think of Ed, who he was, three thoughts run through my mind. First, our cat Rennie. No one outside the family could get close to him, except Ed. No one paid attention to him, except Ed. Second, my son Sean. Children are not easily fooled and Ed was always Sean`s favorite among my friends. Third, my brother Mike,our companion at the Nixon Inaugural Protest. Mike has told me many times that Ed was the only one of my friends that treated him as an equal, even when he was not much more than a child. So, goodbye, my friend, sometime soon we`ll have a beer in heaven.

The End.