Grief is best served without sandals

Today we buried a friend. He was far too young; turning 40 in a matter of weeks. We hadn’t known he was sick; it was a secret he kept from us for reasons maybe only he will ever know. But today, during the slideshow that is somehow supposed to encapsulate a life into a three and half minute song, we saw for the first time photos of him from the past seven months. Photos that, had I not known were him, I would never have recognised. His wasted body, emaciated in a hospital bed, his mother leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. This is not the way I remember him.

He was a huge smile with blonde hair. He was the guitarist that could play without thought, a flurry of fingers over a fretboard. He was a constant in my life for seven years, the best mate of my former boyfriend and fiancé, the guy who was always riding in the backseat so I could sit up front. He sold me my first booze when I turned 18, would make sure I got home safe at night. He was reliable, dependable. He was Benny.

Today I watched grown men cry, comforted my ex from 13 years ago, and inwardly scathed at the poor performance of a so called priest who made out like he knew him. He knew nothing. He actually used the word et cetera when describing Ben’s interests and hobbies. Photography, cinematography, music and et cetera. It made me angry.

His brother’s eulogy I had underestimated. He was not a speaker but he’s clearly a screenwriter. His words brought to life by Ben behind the camera, this time on the floor of a non-denominational chapel. Poetry and grief and fury at the injustice of a life taken too soon. He yelled, dramatically, loudly, he yelled his ferocity and devastation, the younger brother burying his idol, his friend, his sibling.

A group of friends once inseparable reunited by shared grief. A thousand memories of happier times exchanged between beers and party pies. Is this how it ends? Some Eric Clapton and some party pies with sauce. He didn’t deserve this fate.

Black dresses. Black suits. Purple ribbons.

God and Jesus got a lot of fucking misplaced credit today. I say fuck that and fuck you. Ben wasn’t here just to die and find some paradise in the sky. He was here because he was loved. Keep the metaphorical douchebags that need a haircut and an enclosed pair of shoes out of it.

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