Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ten days after it mattered, I found a "clearer" set of Zoh's funereal instructions scribbled in the margins of "Grave Expectations", by Sue Bailey and Carmen Flowers.

Zoh told me (and others), that all the arrangements from who to call to how the service was to be contested. Actually I couldn't find anything in the file marked "After all...".

After a few phone calls to area funeral directors, we discovered that Zoh had chosen "WardMill's". Arriving down there we further bemusedly determined that the funeral home's only recorded instruction from Zoh was a cryptic "No flowers but balloons". But Zoh HAD discussed various parts of the whole post-death process from with each (or all) of us.

It turns out according to the notes Zoh had written, she wanted an Auden poem read, the poignant 'STOP THE CLOCKS".

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone

W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,.
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Again, Zoh was reading my mind.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking of that poem, that it would be fitting.