Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Posts tagged ‘funeral’

A Lesson in Life

They all sat facing forward. A formless black mass. Their heads bowed in prayer as I made my way down the aisle. A few lifted their eyes to catch a glimpse, wondering who I was and how I dared to come so late. I took my seat at the front, next to a woman I presumed to be his wife. I set my little boy on my lap and faced forward. The woman, not much older than myself, looked over at me startled.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

“I think you know who I am,” I returned.

“These seats are reserved for family and close friends,” she hissed.

“Does the mother of his child count as such?” I returned.

She glowered at me, but said nothing. I knew her type. She wouldn’t make a scene here, but in the privacy of a sound proof room, she’d let me have it.

We endured the ceremony sitting next to one another. I watched as she rose to give her eulogy to him.

“…He was a great man who was loved by all. But most of all, he was a man who loved life and all it had to offer him…” she finished.

With that everyone rose and began filing out into the reception area. The mood had lightened. Now they were to celebrate his life. The man that he had been. I was probably going to get a talking to, but what did I care?

I rose, following the others into the reception area. She followed close behind.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she hissed.

“I have every right to celebrate the man he was-” I started.

“No,” she said cutting me off, “Not until I’ve had a word with you.”

“Why?” asked the little boy in my arms, “What has mama done?”

“Why don’t you go and play with the other…others while I talk to your mother?” she said with a forced smiled.

“Why did you bring a child to a funeral, are you insane?” she hissed.

“Stop being mean to my mama!” he said loudly, catching the attention of several guests.

“Shh, Adrian, it’s alright,” I said reassuringly.

He frowned, “But she’s being mean. You always said to stand up to bullies. She’s a bully!”

“I know baby, but let mama talk to her. Maybe she has something worthwhile to say,” I said.

“Damn straight I have something worthwhile to say. Get. The. FUCK. out,” she said enunciating each word.

“I thought I’d just come and meet you,” I shrugged, “I didn’t have to, but I thought it’d be the civil thing to do.”

“Well leave. You’ve outstayed your welcome,” she snarled.

I shrugged and walked in amongst the guests, losing myself in the crowd. He had touched so many people’s lives in his life time it was only right to have so many well wishers at his funeral.

I chatted with a few of the guests, all of them too polite to breach the subject of my relationship with him. From a distance I saw a young couple looking at us curiously. They seemed like interesting people and I approached them.

“Hello,” I said with a smiled, “My name is Brienne. This is Adrian. Thank you so much for coming today.”

“Hello, I’m Marcie and this is Luke,” introduced Marcie, “So how do you know Caleb?”

“We were high school sweethearts,” I answered, “Circumstances drew us apart…and then together again. But as luck would have it, he was already married.”

“So…Adrian is-” started Luke.

I nodded.

“Aren’t you a little young to have a child?” he asked.

I shrugged, “I suppose.”

“Do you mind me asking…when?” asked Marcie awkwardly, “I mean, Luke and I want…to have kids, but we’re kinda young too…”

I smiled, “I had Adrian when I was eighteen. That’s what initially drew us apart. But when Caleb discovered his wife was…how do I put this delicately, unable to provide what he wanted most in life, he came running straight back to me. You see, years ago, he just wanted to have fun. He wasn’t in it for a seriously relationship or committed to providing for a child.”

Marcie looked at Luke who nodded, taking her hand in his.

“Thank you Brienne…you’ve given us something to think about as we prepare for our life together. We’re so sorry for your loss,” murmured Luke.

I nodded drifting away again.

“A lot of people liked daddy didn’t they?” asked Adrian.

I nodded and said, “But you must know, daddy loved you most of all.”

Prompt: “Aren’t you a little young to have a child”

Life After Death

I saw a picture of me sitting on a lonely table. The only other things on that table was a long single stemmed rose and a diamond ring. There was not much of me left once everything had been said and done. It was a bad crash and there wasn’t much tissue or many organs to recover. Those that were were donated for transplantation, scientific research and medical education. The little that was left of me was cremated and compressed into the diamond and set into the ring that would be my only legacy. I was too young to have gotten married, to have kids or a family. The only family I had was the one I was born into and even that was a little sparse.

I never knew how well liked I was in life and in death I still wondered. People showed up, but it couldn’t help but feel that they had done so out of respect rather than out of genuine care. The only one I knew was genuine was my sister. She looked so sad that I just wanted to hug her, but I knew I couldn’t. I was somewhere that she could never reach me.

As an older sister, I had always felt the need to be there for my little sister, even if I did end up spoiling her. I felt that it was my responsibility to care and protect her from the world and in the first few years of my life I had failed that. From the moment I was cognizant of my actions, I tried to make it up to her. I always deferred to her in an argument and apologized even when she was in the wrong. It was not the best system, but when you lived your life feeling apologetic towards everything that happen, feeling like a debt could never be paid off…sometimes that’s how life turned out.

My biggest thing was I wondered if he’d show up. I barely knew him, but a part of me felt so…connected to him. We talked for less than twelve hours, including the few exchanges over the phone, at my work place and in the car. A part of me had imagined a life with him. Another told me that I was a hopeless romantic and that a fourteen year gap was unacceptable. The realist and the idealist. Those had always been the parts of me. I was a Gemini and though astrology was technically a pseudoscience, I believed some of it. I’ve always maintained a distinction between Chinese and Western astrology. My astronomy professor also made this distinction. He said Western astrology is written in such a way that it is general enough that it could be anyone’s horoscope for the day, week, month or year, which Chinese (or Indian he added) calculated the position of celestial bodies or something weird like that that made it more accurate. Anyways, not the point. My point was that I looked him up…we’re apparently compatible in the Western sense, but I had to have worked at it in the Chinese astrology sense…

I had our whole life planned out, but never vocalized any of it. I just admired him from afar, wishing that “someone” had “accidentally” let slip how I felt and that he reciprocated my feelings.

There is so much regret, but there is also peace. I only live once and to spoil what I had with a childish fantasy wasn’t one of the things I was willing to do. See again, the realist vs. the idealist.

After everything in my life, I wonder if the people I attracted had been attracted to the realist or the idealist.

Prompt: Write a scene at a funeral from the viewpoint of the deceased. Draw your dream wedding dress

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