By Renato Rosaldo
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Extra info for The Day of Shelly's Death: The Poetry and Ethnography of Grief
My wife is Duman. I have no patience with fancy speech. I’m outgoing, my words direct, not like a woman. Nato asks me when he needs to know why feuds flared or about the movements of settlements, even if I can’t recall who said what or the sequence of events, I know the politics. I cannot bear the pain of my father’s failing. He forgets when his nephews hear of their grandfather’s beheading their desire for vengeance grows severe. The Day of Shelly’s Death 25 Duman * I Am Duman I’m married to Insan.
With only a fourth grade education, writing a letter of even a few pages was an arduous task for her. I was miffed. On Sunday, September 20, 1981, we celebrated Sam’s fifth birthday with cake, ice cream, streamers, balloons, and nearby friends. Unfortunately, that day some people couldn’t come because of pelting rain and terrible wind—a typhoon was passing through town and drivers feared falling trees. S. Although we’ve been in the Philippines three weeks now (and Baguio two), have an apartment (with guest space, should you visit), a “helper” (Philippine English for “maid”), Sam in kindergarten, and us involved in numerous promises to give lectures here, advice there.
It’s exorbitant and will be fought with elegant, oblique phrases. He claims his tongue stumbles, but he’s a nimble word dancer who in his own home sings, orates, chants hunting spells. You, spirit who walks by the river, come join my steaming here! Here I steam magic on my hand by the hearthstone. The Day of Shelly’s Death 31 Midalya and family Midalya * M i d a lya She says she has nothing to say, thin, haggard, Tukbaw her brother, her husband Tepeg a man heavier than most. Shelly and I, Renato, live in their home for a year.