I got a call yesterday from the pastor who will be leading the funeral service. I had already spoken to Linda and had offered to sing or play the violin or read a passage from the Bible or do whatever she might need. If she didn't need any of it, that was fine; that was good. All I want is to do is do anything she wants from me. And what she told the pastor is that I have free rein to speak or sing or play. She specifically said, "Maybe she'll read a poem."
Whether Linda knows it or not, that is a huge trust. This will be a conservative Baptist funeral, with hundreds of mourners as well as a large press presence. My friend gave me free rein to do anything in front of this group, anything at all. But every time I tried to choose something to read, all I could think of was Othello. Or Macbeth.
All my pretty ones?Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?What! all my pretty chickens and their damAt one fell swoop?
In other words, I found that I could not read anything that would offer any comfort. So I'll be playing "Amazing Grace" on the violin.
Music, we can absorb as we will, wordless. Poetry is too cruel.