Kenaram’s Memorial

Saturday was the Mormon/Krisha memorial. Sunday was for the ruffians, drunks, and the rest of us. Both were perfect. His family was so generous to open their home to his strange friends, and it was the perfect blend of both worlds he loved so much.

There was so much love and joy. I sobbed. I’ve never cried so hard at a funeral. It was cold and rainy all week, except for Saturday, the day of the backyard family service.

Sunday, I raged, in all the right ways. A friend offered his home to relocate the drum circle, should the rain pick back up (It did), but there was no notification of the move, so I carted myself and my kit to the park. With a tarp.

Kenaram started the circle early this year. They don’t get going that fiercely that early in the season, and not at all in Spring weather like that. Kenaram’s brother brought his ashes and set up his altar in the center of the circle, and we howled, danced, held each other, made merry, and made mayhem. Michael and his lovely daughter stayed for over an hour, letting us party like Kenaram would and finish our send-off.

I’m mourning both Jeffrey and Kenaram this week. I broke all the way down Saturday, and haven’t really stopped crying since. My heart is broken. I ache, everywhere inside.

Sunday, Michael handed me a pink moonstone ring he took off of Kendall’s finger before cremation. It had been Jeffrey’s. It’s mine now!

I’m so grateful for the generosity and love of these people. Those boys and their entire family have taught me, made me better. Michael’s challenge to all of us was to honor Kenaram by loving like he would. I’ve had a hard time doing that this week. I’m cranky and hurting, and I want to be left alone.

But I will. I will. I must. Why is the right thing so hard, especially when I know how good it will make me feel? It feels good to be kind, to be forgiving, to be gracious even in the face of cruelty, but I love and nurse my grudges.

I wish it were easier to let that go. I guess that’s why I’m still here. It’s what sets those dear brothers and their wonderful family apart from what I’ve known and who I want to be – superior, exacting, petty – when I feel low.

Getting even is a lie. It sets you completely out of balance. I’m grateful for amazing examples, but I feel overwhelmed today, reluctant to step up to the challenge and meet it.

I just want to cry.

I’ll heal soon, and do better. I do want to be more like them. They make me feel precisely the opposite of “competing with the Joneses.” I’ve learned from the Joneses and I want to emulate them.

Lori, the only sister, put her arm around my waist at the funeral and introduced me to extended family, saying, “She’s been connected since Jeff!” Connected. 

Not, “She knew Jeff.” Connected! Wow.

I’m awestruck and humbled, and so very sad to lose their brothers.

hare krishna and bagpipes

Krishna song followed by bagpipes. Naturally.

jerry and kiyah

I was honored to finally meet Jeff’s son, Jerry, and his new bride, Kiyah.

spreading ashes at cemetery

Saturday, Mar. 23, 2019

altar at circle

I rubbed ashes on my drums. Native people thank the animal that becomes an instrument, and now Kenaram will sing with them, too. ~ Michael approached me when the cops came. (We were proud to warrant them on such an early, cold, wet day.) “Is it illegal to spread ashes in public?” he asked. I didn’t know, but answered, “We’ll get arrested for open containers before you get arrested for mourning your brother. Don’t worry.” Then we hid our beers.

michael and helena

Michael and Helena Jones

dance and drum
hugging tanya and jude

twins

Kenaram introduced me to Amber (L) in 2014. Since then, she and her twin Angie have become two of my best friends.

daniel's prayer

Sunday, Mar. 24, 2019

be the thing you loved most

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