Friday, August 12, 2016

FUNERAL ORATION FOR MY BROTHER



My brother Fantini Nicola passed away in the evening of Monday, July 11th 2016.
The following is the translation of the speech I've delivered at the end of the funeral rites on July 13th.

FUNERAL ORATION FOR MY BROTHER 

When I was a child my brother Nicolino represented to me a second fatherly figure, the cornerstone of the family along with my father and grandfather. My parents and my grandfather could always count on him for the housework and the fields work. For me and my brother Giampiero, he was an incomparable example of honesty, dedication and kindness. He never spared himself when it came to roll up his sleeves and to solve large and small problems. He suffered deeply when my grandfather left us after a long agony 23 years ago. He has always followed with pride my artistic activities, often doing everything to help me in setting up my local exhibitions. He felt fulfilled when he formed a beautiful family with Filomena, with whom he shared everything until the very end, growing their son Joseph with the affection and the unique example of a father who was a friend, a confidant and a moral guide, an ironic motivator and a companion of adventures. Everybody respected and loved him as showed by the large crowd of relatives, colleagues and friends gathered here.
We will never forget the day he found out he had a lung cancer, an adenocarcinoma with pleural effusion. The doctor who followed him after the first diagnosis, told me that we had to stop worrying. According to him we had to accept the cycles of chemo that he knew were useless and harmful. We had to quit looking for more effective and less damaging treatments. We had to quit looking for famed oncologists. We would have been happy only when he would have passed away. The only medicine is death, he said.
Now unfortunately that medicine has had its effect. My brother has finally found the cure that we have sought in vain over 8 months in the attempt to fight the advance of his deadly disease and relieve his agony.
Yet, I'm afraid there is no medicine for the Disease plaguing many other people who will probably live longer than him.
This incurable Disease has many names: it’s called cynicism, opportunism, profiteering, indifference, individualism.
It’s the same Disease affecting the doctor who told me he loved walking in cemeteries, having fun by counting the months that remained to live to his patients treated with toxic substances inside his oncology department that was, actually, an antechamber to the morgue.
It’s the Disease affecting those oncologists who drive Porsche cayenne, take a tan at the Seychelles, play tennis, hold conferences on cancer research around the world, and earn hundreds of Euros just to give a bored look at the patient still unaware to be sentenced to death.
It’s the Disease tormenting those surgeons who like to appear on television to praise the wonders of videothoracoscopy and immunotherapy, but who don’t show up to recommend a treatment of antibiotics to prevent postoperative sepsis.
It’s the Disease that eats away those doctors who called “an extraordinary favour” the assistance given to my dying brother who, along with his wife, every week faced gruelling train travels in a wheelchair between Milan and Pescara, pushed only by the energy of despair.
It’s the Disease that consumes that nurse who scolded my mother and my relatives for bringing my brother to the emergency room ‘cause he desperately wanted to avoid death by suffocation in his bedroom.
May God have mercy on all of them because they are sick with no termination date and they don’t know it.
May God have mercy on those who still insist on not seeing or understanding, or worse, pretend not seeing nor understanding that the Sangro Valley, after decades of development and prosperity, has begun again to swarm with death as in the old age of malarial swamps.
Now I like to remember a September day of two years ago, when we went to the mountains and sighted a herd of deers in love, staying for a long time listening to their belling: I hope that now he’s climbing the highest and brightest peak following that call of life, so he will forever forget the deadly and cruel cackle of human hypocrisy.
To Filomena and Joseph I say that the family will be more united and stronger than before, because you will never lack the support, the courage and the strength to plan the future. The future that Nicolino kept getting turned on within himself like a flame until his last breath.
Because during these dreadful months, together with him we realized that there will never be any real cure as long as the Human Being will not be considered a World Heritage Site.
Afan Alessandro Fantini
07/13/2016
Post a Comment