Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 13, 2022

Michael 2022

Boats aren't my thing.

There's nothing wrong with boats; let me just clear that up. There is nothing wrong with people who captain a boat; it's just not for me. I don't know what it is. My brother, who is like minutes older than me, died early last April after a long bout with cancer. He requested that a memorial be held for him at Kualoa beach park; after, he wanted his ashes spread on the sandbar nearby. He also specified that only particular persons be on the boat when his ashes were spread. I was wholly surprised to know that I was to be one of those people. We boarded at the campsite, and as the boat headed out, I could not help but remember the words that everyone shared earlier during the memorial. All kind, all very loving, not expressed with great articulation by some who peppered gratuitous amounts of expletives here and there, but alas, you can't choose your family. When it came to my turn, I was frank about it. We did not get along, but at the very least, we were cordial and decent in one another's presence. Even when invited to his Illinois home for dinner while I was in town for a meeting, I was treated more like a guest at a restaurant than an actual sibling who happened to show up an hour before closing. But that was all our relationship as brothers was ever going to be. There is no dramatic back story to our lack of kinship, no tale of one-sided favoritism; we were just born from opposite sides of the womb. Yet, he was my brother, and I did love him as best as I could manifest love for someone like Michael. Although distant, he was a presence I could count on, knowing that he was perpetually there. Now, he is not. I was so lost in my thoughts that I hadn't realized we had already arrived at the sandbar. The weather was nice, and there was only a very slight wind, and the clouds were kind enough to keep the sun at bay whilst prayers and tears were offered. Then, Michael's wife, along with our mother, cast his ashes into the water because this was a place where he spent hours whenever he was home. It gave him peace. Before his earthly remains touched the surface clear blanket of blue, a wind conjured itself from nothing, and the small swirling tempest gathered Micheal's ashes and carried it aloft, high and higher above us it went, and then it was gone. Michael's ashes were released, and we were all showered by his last blessing of farewell to us. It was beautiful, unforgettable, and so sudden that no one had thought to record it on their phones. It was something that only our hearts would remember. I still don't like boats, but I do miss Michael.

Credit: Pinterest



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