Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Keiran's first death:

(Dedicated to Maw McGuire, Oatlands, Glasgow, 1901/1990.)

Keiran cried for one day without stopping. Someone had passed away in the family. A distant Grandmother had died in his family. Keiran was eight years old. This was his first death. His father had woke him and told him early this morning:

'Maw died in her sleep last night...' The words were spoken solemly but without urgency as if all along it had been expected. These words held a silence that spread over the entire day. He knew death meant something irretrievable.

Keiran wept in his bed, wept over his breakfast, wept walking through the park, wept in the supermarket aisles, wept in the car, wept on the couch, he wept in the bathroom, he wept at the dinner table, he wept in his bedroom and finally he wept in his sleep.

The next day he did not cry a single, solitary tear, he had thought out death.


Hugh McMillan said...

I like 'thought out death'.

Lucky Kieran.

McGuire said...

Lucky, I suppose, the end does make it sound like he has come to terms with death, and to some extent he had, he understood all the ramifications, all the consequnces. But perhaps nothing can compare you for the 'quantity' of death that will be experienced by in one life.

McGuire said...

I should add that the name Kieran is of Irish and Gaelic origin (My Gran Maw McGuire) and means 'Dark' or 'Little dark one.'

Just thought I'd mention that.

Ken Armstrong said...

I know lots of Kieran's.

I liked this, for me it reflected the simplicity but also the strangely unknowable-side of young kids.


Jim Murdoch said...

It works well. For my part I was fascinated by my first death. I was older although I'm not sure how old. I do remember watching everyone's faces at the service - I'm not sure I got to go to the burial - to see how one was supposed to behave or react. I guess I was a writer back then, storing it all up till it was needed.

The Brokendown Barman said...

i remember my first death too. on holiday in denmark, racing giant snails. word got through that my granny had died. i was only 5 and didnt really understand. was glad to get home cos the weather was really bad. dont think that went down too well!!!! she never really liked me anyway, she preferd older children and always favoured my sister. im not bitter, i hardly new her. it was years later that i thought out death

Marion McCready said...

oh, nicely done. I like these little stories!