07 December, 2005

And The Night Is As Fair As The Day

How do you say good bye to someone who shouldn't have gone? What do you do when the picture beside the closed casket is more suited to a learner's permit? What do you tell a parent who is having to bury a child whose loving spirit couldn't stand up against the tidal flood of drugs in his system?

We sat in the front of the church and stared at the casket. The lid didn't shut quite plumb, and one carnation in the arrangement on the floor was broken at the head. It was in full bloom, but it faced the floor--snapped dead when it was at its prettiest. If I'd made that up it would sound over the top. Sometimes the world seems to know all on its own how things are. I wondered for an instant if we were on the bride's side by mistake, and then I remembered. The preacher's name was Gaia, and that made me smile.

The church was full of children that would irritate me if we were at the mall. I wrote my name in a book that reached me during the final words of the sermon. It said _________, my Boo on the cover. If you're someone's boo, how bad must all else be if you need to leave? The book was full of addresses, like it made us all feel better to reassert our belonging someplace. This is where we are. This is where you can find us. We are here.

His father is a salesman more comfortable in front of a group than any other man alive. He might have been president if he hadn't wanted other things from life. He gave the most important speech of his life. He begged a roomful of weeping kids to not give up the same battle that robbed him of his boy. This more than any other time I hope his audience bought it.

I was talking to Tim about King David on Sunday night, before we even knew about this. I had felt so moved earlier in the day by David's love for the son who betrayed him. The words David spoke at the news of his hanging son are now etched in my mind more firmly than I thought possible.

My son Absalom, Absalom my son: would to God that I might die for thee, Absalom my son, my son Absalom.


At 9:32 PM, December 07, 2005, Blogger Glen Dean said...

Katherine, that was really touching.

A childhood friend of mine gave up his fight with drugs one day and took his life. His father, who I knew my whole life and had never seen show emotion, tearfully begged me to never give up. I was at that hopeless place about five years ago (two years after my friend had died), sitting in a burnt out house, hungry and lonely, all out of money, and all out of dope. I kept staring down at the rusty razor blade in front of me. I had reached the end. I didn't want to live, but I also did not want to die. I finally prayed that prayer of desperation. I screamed at God to tell me what to do. After that very real and sincere prayer, I suddenly had hope. The answer came. Later that evening, I was on the way to a treatment center.

Sometimes it is so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel or the top of the mountain. I hate to hear stories like this.

At 12:31 PM, December 08, 2005, Anonymous brittney said...

Katherine, I often enjoy what you write. I think you have talent many other bloggers do not.

But this is the first time you've ever given me chill bumps. What a beautiful post.

At 2:16 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Thank you. That was very kind to say. It was hard to write, but therapeutic at the same time.

Glen, that is such a powerful story. It really is a testament to the seeds we plant in others every day, whether we know it or not.

At 2:58 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger jag said...

I agree with Brittney. You are extremely talented.

At 4:49 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger John H said...

Katherine - you already know what I think about your talent. This post confirms what I've been saying all along. Nice.

At 11:15 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

That is one seriously good post. Thanks for writing that, seriously.

At 2:34 PM, December 09, 2005, Blogger Glen Dean said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:35 PM, December 09, 2005, Blogger Glen Dean said...

Katherine, I agree with everyone else. You have an excellent talent for this stuff.


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