Monday, June 11, 2007

overcome by sadness, she vacuumed her car

The memorial gathering for T-Paul Ste. Marie took place at Claire and Frank's place in Vancouver on Sunday afternoon. The rain stopped and the sun shone on the patio and through the skylights of the open loft apartment. The pile of shoes on the floor by the door was explored by two calm and curious cats. Small children bounced on the bed upstairs. Friends filled their plates from the groaning potluck table, finding sweetness in coffee cake, cookies, strawberries and cinnamon buns. Some sipped B&B, one of T-Paul's favourites. Some smoked. Many cried, most laughed. Happy stories were told in between sorting out the progression of "when did you last see him?" and "how was he doing when you talked to him?" Gently, gently, friends pieced together what they know and knew of their lost friend, filling in the gaps in individual memory-lines to create a collaged-together story of who was T-Paul and what were the events of his life and leaving. Some friends wore shoes that T-Paul would love. Some told tales of how he helped them get their start as artists performers or how he encouraged them to kick-start themselves back out of self-doubt into doing what they really wanted to do. A slide show ran continuously on the flatscreen on the wall. There were pictures of a boy, a man, a promoter, a patient, a brother in spirit. T-Paul holding a baby. T-Paul on a motorcycle. T-Paul grinning at the camera, camping it up, dressed in inimitable T-Paul style. T-Paul's mom was there too, in town from Ontario, giving out hugs, meeting her son's friends. She told us it made her so happy to see how many people loved T-Paul. We told her, "This is nothing. We're not even all here right now." Sue Cormier gave her a book of remembrances - stories and poems mostly, contributed by friends.

When I left people were still arriving. I didn't know what else to do. I drove most of the way home, then filled my gas tank and vacuumed my car. Sometimes there's nothing you can do.

question: how do you make sense of randomness?

mompoet - not always knowing the purpose of what is


Lynn Valley Girl said...

No one can truly explain what grief drives us to do. Menial jobs and odd activities sometimes numb grief. You will find comfort in your memories of him and with support of your friends and family.

Carol said...

I think you all helped his Mother by giving her the book of remembrances and by being there.

S.R. Duncan said...

Nicely done!

I'll probably use this tomorrow on

drunk on words said...

Thanks, Sue. That fills in a few of blanks of what it was like while I was away.