Lambert "Sono" Emanuel
January 1, 1954 January 8, 2014
We buried Sono today, January 15, 2014, under a brilliant double rainbow with the parrots flying overhead. “For true” as they say in Dominica. He was buried in the public cemetery, in a field of lemon grass in bloom, on a hill surrounded by his beloved mountains. His son and brothers and neighbours carried his coffin to the grave. I stood with his daughters while they lowered his body and shoveled in the red Dominican clay soil to cover it. He is gone from us now.
Who is going to tease us and call us names? Who is going to say “Stop dat” and "Foolish"? Who is going to fry fish for me? Who is going to play hide-and-seek with me in the middle of the night? Who is going to sing reggae love songs to me? Who am I going to read to? Who am I going to wait for at the Bay?
There was some confusion about which church the service was to be in, but it got straightened out and about 100+ friends and family gathered to celebrate Sono’s life. Hymns were sung, prayers were said. He lay there through it all, in a shirt, tie and jacket – clothes he didn’t own and would NEVER wear in life. The detested colour purple was everywhere. There was no reggae music. He would have hated the whole thing.
But he would have loved the turn out. The people who knew the sea as he did came, the people who knew the soil as he did were there, the people who lived through difficult times with him and his children were there, and childhood friends were there. His brothers and sisters, some of whom came from other islands, were all there. His children were there. He would have been so proud to see my women friends there, both as a tribute to him and as a support for me.