A Word for Death

I can’t say I have a lot of experience dealing with death of close people. My grandparents died either before I was born, or just after. The people who came close to matching those were my god-mother and grand-aunt, both of whom I didn’t attend their funerals (so only processed it much later). I had a few friends over the years, but always avoided the funeral ceremonies.

My daughter had a 4-year old goldfish die two weeks ago. While her friends visited, we held a little burial ceremony, and she wept while her friends held her close. It reminded me about having ceremony, even if it’s one you create yourself.

My friend Paul died. We never met in “meat” space, but we gamed a few times online in the Gauntlet, including quite recently where he ran some thoroughly enjoyable games of Inspectres.

One of the scenes that I hold very close to my heart was in a game of Dialect I played in, about a year ago. Paul led that scene, where we were exploring our tribe’s word for “death”, incidentally. Paul’s thoughtfulness about the word, sounds, and etymology was really quite profound, and I remember being sort of entranced by the whole process we were going through.

Because our games are often recorded, I actually used that scene yesterday as a sort of ceremony to myself, re-watching that segment, and taking the ceremony we created in-game, and performing it as I said good-bye to this beautiful man that I knew so little.

Love you, Paul.