Life After Death

The Notorious BIG, RIP

The security wears black and I wear white.
I haven’t worn color since He died.
He is dead in the earth and I am alive.
But we all know that’s a lie.

I stand by his grave and see green growing,
Whereas I feel nothing but dead inside.
A man is not dead in the earth. He comes back to life.
Bugs, bacteria, they all return him to the elements. To life.

Oh revered ancestors, who we scorn.
Descendants of the great dung beetle in the sky,
You guide us to life after death,
Please take our dear Anna, take him on.

At home I light the lamp at his altar,
Put araliya flowers in a bowl.
The light goes out.
The flowers go limp.

But then I just do it again.
Like day after night, life after death goes on.
For a moment in the flickering flame,
In the fading flowers, he lives on.

I touch the earth and it presses back.
Humus is a living ecosystem as much as humanity.
They are not dead those who we return to her busom,
Who we scatter to the winds, who we release to the ocean.
In thehumusof the earth as well as the tumult of humanity,
Life goes on in many forms.

I know this is true but I don’t believe it.
In the moment I just feel like death.
Death feels so implacable. So final. So wrong.
I stand over a grave and watch flowers decompose.
I mourn.
I feel awful.

But then I see my children playing in a circle,
Around their beloved Anna’s grave.
As they crawled over him in life.
As he wanted, as he welcomed.

I think that it’s not just bodies that return to the Earth.
The good a man does lives on. The love he gives.
And so I feel his warmth in the flicker of an oil lamp,
Know his death in the fading of araliya flowers.

Color goes into the world and it comes out of it.
Every day, every life, every blink.
What can a man do?

Just pick some flowers and watch them fade.
Dig the earth and watch something grow.
Hold your children and keep them safe.
Feel the truth that you cannot know.

Though it all feels like death at the moment
I have to believe life after death is true.