Interestingly, in Russian, Pederast is the word for Homosexual, and when my wife first saw a sign in the US that said Yield to Pedestrians, it was quite a scene. Russian Traditions popped up again recently, for a different reason. When we buried Chuck (although no actual burying took place) Yulia was really surprised at the way things went forward. This was all done as a series of wakes, with everyone crying, yet comforting each other. All trying to remember the joy of living with someone. And this is not the was things were done in Russia. That involved a lot mor crying, public displays of the dead, and sorrow. Apparently, there is some structure of days that are to be followed relating to the body, the departure of the soul, and visitations to the family.
I mention all of this because I had a dream this week about Chuck. Specifically, we were back working together at Microsoft. Chuck was at his most healthy and powerful, with that presence of his that made him liked by everyone he came in contact with. This dream all started out with standard dream stuff. Walking through halls organizing things, Abe Lincoln and that badger playing cards, etc. But after a while I realized that I was dreaming, and I began discussing with Chuck how sad and angry I was at all the things that I was not able to do and say with him before he was gone. I felt that I had not done enough as a friend, and it was a really long discussion between us. Chuck was fine with everything, and understood, just the way he would in real life. And then I woke up, seriously freaked out.
When I relayed this to Yulia, she informed me that this exactly follows tradition, and that that wasn’t a dream, it’s what the departed do before they pass on. She told me that that was Chuck contacting me, and that I should be comforted in that. I can’t say that I agree with her belief, but neither am I willing to disagree. I remain freaked out by the whole thing, but I would be very comforted to know that she was right. Seeing Chuck again as the strong, tough and thoughtful friend that I have known these last 20 years is how I would choose to remember him, and how I am sure that he would like to be remembered. And I would like to think that he knows how much he meant to me as a friend, and how much he still does, in my memories.
Of course I still don’t know why Abe went all in against the badger with that pair of queens, I mean really, queens are evil and the badger just owned him.