MONDAY, November 7.
Yesterday a pena was held for Anibal at a small Chilean restaurant. Luckily my friends has reserved a table as it didn't take long before the place was jam-packed, wall-to-wall with people, mostly from the Chilean community, who had come to pay their respects to A. and his family.
His friend H. had arranged a beautiful musical tribute for him, so there was a variety of Chilean musicians providing a wonderful afternoon/evening of song and instrumental music.
It was a happy event, although there was an aura of sadness at the loss of our dear friend. At one moment, when they were playing one of his favorite songs, I broke down and hid my face on Suzaki's shoulder. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stop crying and tried hard not to make a drama so perhaps nobody noticed. I know it will be hard for quite some time, when I go to the LQ and hear those songs. One bolero in particular always gets to me because I have a memory of dancing it with him while he translated the words to the song. I loved to dance with him although it didn't happen that often. I always felt as if we 'fit' somehow. He loved to sing and recite poetry and he was an exceptional dancer. Usually he was just playing the music (percussion) and singing with the band so he didn't always get chance to dance. But I recall a party at my house when he was showing a friend's daughter how to dance the proper steps and it was quite remarkable how good he was at it. I also know he was a musician for all his life, played the guitar and percussion instruments. I have a clear memory of the day he told me he'd lost his guitar at the pawn shop as he didn't have the money to collect it. He was heartbroken as it was part of his life, but he was too proud to ask friends for money to get it, even his best friend H. If I had been able to for sure I'd have helped out, but he knew that I was usually as 'poor' as he was.
Music was his life, as was literature (writing and poetry). So it seemed fitting that H. would have arranged this musical tribute. I think we could all feel his presence there, see his dazzling smile and although there was no room to dance in that little cafe, surely he was dancing and singing as he watched us celebrate his life.