dear porter,

today was your funeral.
our close little family went really early.
just the 7 of us.
we all stood around your body one last time.

we tucked your guitar pick between your fingers.
right where it belongs.
and we wrote you a letter and put it in your hands.
i held miles up so he could see.
i told him you were his uncle porter.
i told him that you loved him.
and he looked right at you for a long time,
with his very concerned and honest face.
i like to believe that he knows.

we closed your casket for the viewing today.
we thought it would be best.
but we put your picture on top of it.
the one your best friend brian took of you,
when you guys hiked above bridal veil falls.
and that's how we want people to remember.

your funeral service was full of laughter and tears.
it was a celebration of your life.
your brothers and I felt no nervousness over speaking,
though our tears may have made our vision a little cloudy.
we felt so much love for you.
and it was you that helped us through it.

dad and i already went back to your grave today after the services were over.
just to check up on you and make sure everything was in order.
it gave us closure to know right where you were resting.
and to see those beautiful white flowers marking your place.

i got to hear the song you wrote today.
the one i never got to hear you play.
we found it on the computer.
mom said you thought the lyrics were genius,
(in your humble and joking way)
and i have to admit,
you are right.

we talked for a few hours again tonight.
i will treasure the conversations we have about you,
because sometimes we get goosebumps.
and sometimes one of us will feel you close by.
and then we share it with each other
and we just feel peace.
but we also laugh.
and that's what you would have wanted.
and that's what we would be doing if you were here.

sometimes we analyze your accident over and over until our heads hurt.
you weren't even close to the edge.
but there were skid marks in the snow.
and we just wonder
what if you had better shoes on?
what if it hadn't snowed?
what if you had turned around just a few minutes earlier?
what if someone had been with you?
and then it turns to what if God just wanted you back?
what if you were too perfect for this earth?

we know where you are, little po po.
and we know what you're doing.
and that makes it a little easier.
we will see your face again,
healed and whole and perfect.
and i hope you're holding a guitar.

this is all, for now.
but i will never stop writing to you.
thinking of you.
remembering you.
or missing you.
you are forever my little brother.

love you.


LL said...

you have incredible strength my friend! I wish I could have heard the words you spoke at Porters funeral. I'm sure the whole program was perfect...sounds like Porter would have deserved nothing less. He sounds like an amazing guy!

Anonymous said...

Mother and I also went back to the grave before we drove home. It was beautiful and peaceful. Monica

DMH2B said...

Bless you for your strength, faith and poetic writings.
From my short knowing of you and hearing about Porter, your Mother raised amazing people.

You and your family continue to be in my prayers & my Church family prayers.

Doran & Jody said...

Love the posts Kali!
I was glad I was there last night to request the song be sent to me as well. I have listened to it several times already today.
The funeral was perfect. You all did a fantastic job.

Love you all!
Momma Jody

Lyndi said...

I'm sad I wasn't there... but I thought of all the whole time. I still do. Can't stop praying for you... it's all still fresh on my mind. A week just doesn't seem long enough to change the whole planet. Thank you for being sweet enough to console the rest of us through your words. I didn't realize I needed it... as a new(ish) Mom... this hits me hard.

Love you guys. Thanks for being an amazing example!

Launi said...

Oh, I just love you guys so much. I didn't really know the "young man Porter" very well--I'd spoken to him only once at the house. Then, on the way out of the church I saw the video of Porter in the lobby and realized THAT sweet "little boy" THAT Porter--I knew him...
I cried all the way home.

Here is the poem that President Hadfield read. I wasn't sure if you had a copy because he spoke impromptu.

Rose Beyond the Wall
by A.L. Frink

A rose once grew
where all could see,
sheltered beside
a garden wall,
And as the days passed
swiftly by,
it spread its branches, straight and tall...

One day, a beam of light
shone through
a crevice that had
opened wide ~
The rose bent gently
toward its warmth
then passed beyond
to the other side

Now, you who deeply
feel its loss,
be comforted ~ the rose blooms there ~
its beauty even greater now,
nurtured by
God's own loving care.

malandbrian said...

Your words are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and letters to him, it is very touching. I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. My prayers are with you.
Mallory (married to Brian Bilbao, not sure if you remember me, but I know you know Brian!)

Phil Jones said...

Kali, My name is Phil Jones. Your mother, Becky Farris Loftus and I were very good friends in Jr. High and High School. I just want to say you have a gift with words and your expressions of love for Porter Addison are wonderful. Thank you for the beautiful insights into your family's difficult but spiritual experience.

Emo Henshaw said...

Kali, I am sitting here at work with tears coming down my face. the best part is I have to welcome people into work. I have gotten a couple weird looks... but that is okay. What sweet things you have to say about your brother. i can't even imagine. I am thinking and praying for you and your family.