funerals Archive

A Legacy Deferred

Note: I have not used any real names in this article. However, the people, places, and events described are real (to the best of my recollection).

Most people spend their lives actively seeking to create their legacy. For most people it is by having children, being good parents, and then good grandparents. For others it is the accumulation of wealth. Inventors have left indelible marks on our history and culture as well. Politicians and generals guide nations through both war and peace. For my childless, staff-grade officer Uncle “Michael”, though, there seemed to be no legacy after his senseless death in Iraq in 2003. Until now.

How to Bury Our Dead

We would like to thank our (first!) special guest author, Amber Dawn, and Arsenal Pulp Press, for allowing us to republish this short story on QueerMentalHealth.org. Grief is a very important issue for mental health, and Amber Dawn does an amazing job at addressing how we can deal with grief within the LGBTQ community. This short story can be found in the anthology, Second Person Queer (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008). Amber, you are a powerful writer, and we at QueerMentalHealth.org would like to invite you to come back anytime.

Everyone dies; we can agree on that. And although we probably don’t really like to, we can also agree that the mortality rate for queers is higher than for happily married heterosexuals. Doesn’t it seem a little off that we—with our rich array of community rituals and traditions—don’t have customary means to mourn? Exactly how do we bury our dead?