It ended peacefully, the room as soft as a eiderdown. My little sister, Marilou Levangie, left this world a week ago Monday, as the love of her life held her right hand, and her nearest sibling held her left, each telling her that it was okay to let go.
“Batman and Robin, together again,” Brian said, referring to our earliest days in elementary school when we imagined ourselves caped crusaders, with the pajamas to prove it. I almost wept then. He’s such a good man, and he doesn’t deserve this.
She quickly slipped from our grasp. Her decision made, she now seemed in a hurry where once she tarried.
How many ways can a heart break?
I learned yet a new way.
Last Thursday, we celebrated Marilou’s life with 450 close friends. It was the very first time in my experience that using the word funeral felt inapproriate. Though tears flowed as freely as a fine Chianti, they felt more like tears of blessedness and less like tears of sorrow. I felt at home in a community, and so grateful for love that inspired and lifted and healed me.
Last week, the world lost some of some of its funness and laughter. If I’m half the brother I think that I am, I’ll try to carry some of that weight.
But I think I’m going to need dance lessons.