Meesh? Yuh at home, gyal?
We streamin' the funeral so yuh could check it online. Meh sistuh in NYC couldn't make it down either. I wanted to let you know it workin'.
Oh Dean, Thanks!
Moments later I am watching Nanzo's funeral.
I am again drawn into the embrace of my Trini family.
The news about Nanzo's death was a sad surprise earlier this week. Yesterday I got another surprise when Dean called to tell me I could come to the funeral "virtually." Would I have preferred to be there in person? Certainly. But I never expected the opportunity to be afforded me to see any part of it so I was incredibly grateful. I didn't know it was something they intended to try doing. I even have to count the pouring rain earlier in the day because it made me lazy about going out to do the grocery shopping. If it had been good weather I would have gotten myself in order sooner and it's likely I'd have been standing in a cashier's line when the call from Dean came.
I was even able to contact Diana at school to let her know the site where she could catch the video stream. She missed the first part because she was in class and a bit more because she had a second class. For her second class she was able to explain to her prof that she had lived in Trinidad as a small child and her Trini grandmother's funeral was being streamed. She said the professor was very gracious about excusing her from class for the day so she could see it too. She and I were able to text back and forth so I could confirm who she was seeing in different shots. So I have to count all the technology that made all this possible. When we lived there email wasn't even an option.
I was able to see some of her grandchildren playing Nanzo's favorite hymns on steel pan; children who were so little the last time I saw them, now grown and so composed. I was able to hear her oldest daughter, now a grandmother herself, give an eloquent and loving eulogy which honored her mother in every way. I was able to see the slide presentation her other children put together. When I saw the very picture I had taken so many years ago and posted here just days ago I felt like a little part of me was there with them as they were with me. I'm just so deeply grateful that for that brief period of time so many things came together so well to close a bit of the distance.
A lot of joyous music was shared to celebrate Nanzo, who she was, and the faith she lived. No dirges are allowed, even at a funeral. This particular song has been my favorite for a long time and I smiled when I heard it during the service for Nanzo. (Calypso is under orders to sing it when my time comes.) I wish I could give it to you in the upbeat Trini Calypso style in which it was delivered but I haven't found any examples of that. Instead here's the bluegrass version from O Brother, Where Art Thou. I think Nanzo would approve.