I had just returned from my November 2018 visit to Panama when Minga died. I thought long and hard about whether to turn around and go back, and in the end decided not to. My being here would have been good for some of her grieving family, clearly. But I’m here now, and in turn, almost all of Minga’s family members have taken time to sit with me quietly and at length and recount their experience of their mother’s death. Too much was likely happening during her actual funeral for that to have happened. And perhaps they needed a bit of time to enter this reflective stage.
Speaking of one’s experience of loss is a part of dealing with death that crosses cultures. I recall clearly reciting over and over what happened when my late husband Jerry died, until I no longer had the need to do so.
Minga’s adult offspring need to do it now, and I am blessed and honored and touched to be the listener, to bear witness.