zen.org Communal Weblog

April 15, 2007

"Perfect Day" depends on the perspective

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:22 GMT

About ten days after I made my recent post, our friend Riko van der Grijn died. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only three months ago. It’s now Sunday night; this past Friday, Elana and I had to go to his funeral. I really hope we won’t have to experience such a thing again for a really, really long time. We’re still trying to come to grips with the reality of it, finding our heads assaulted with all-encompassing memories seemingly out of nowhere.

Intermixed with the speeches from some family and friends, they played some of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and finally concluded with another song, also specifically chosen by Riko for the ceremony. Lou Reed’s Perfect Day guided the curtains closed in front of the casket, and then people got up to leave. We knew only a few of the 100+ people who had turned up.

Riko died much faster than most people expected; the only positive part was the final end to his intense pain and suffering. In that sense, I imagine the choice of song was fitting. ” Oh it’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you,” the song claimed. If I close my eyes now I can see Riko saying exactly that to us, the gleam in his eye reflecting his true strength.

We are more complete as people for having had the opportunity to know him.

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