Sunday, September 30, 2007


On Wednesday I found out that my next-door neighbour died-- the man who'd helped us with our garden. I'd heard one of the kids who lived there talking about a hospital, and so I asked one of them what was wrong. "My grandfather is sick," he told me. I asked him if he was all right, and the kid reported that he'd died this morning. And so I went in my house and cried, and Stuart was also sad, in his mannish-less-emotional way. All I could think of was my neighbour's beautiful garden going untended, and that I couldn't remember the last time I had seen him. That I would never see him again, and I kept looking out the window expecting to.

I baked a batch of muffins that night (actually two, as the first didn't turn out) and took them over to their house, gave them to another grandson. In the morning I saw one of the man's sons out in the backyard, aimlessly fidding with the garden, and I was thinking that this poor guy had just lost his dad, and I felt terrible. I went to work feeling just as bad, and as I got to feeling better as the day progressed, I felt guilty for my good humour. That life goes on, as it did.

It was strange then, this morning, to see the dead man from next door out working in that garden. Needless to say, we are considerably confused, and I keep dissolving into hysterical laughter. And I am also really quite embarrassed about the fact that I took them over a batch of muffins, and I wonder what they thought that was all about. Or what it truly was all about? I'm also worried that this may warp my conception of life and death, and that every time someone dies from now on I am going to expect this to happen.

Life is weird, particularly in my neighbourhood.