Wreaths and Sighs
Hi everyone! I was at a funeral recently and I was inspired to write this story. The topical issue of death is one that I shy away from a lot. The finality and gravity of death is a little to real for me. It is, however an undeniable fact of life and living. Thinking about death and the inevitability of it puts purpose into perspective, and inspires us to live fulfilled and meaningful lives.
Have you realised you don't know when your death will be? Are you ready for it? How will those around you remember you? Just a few questions to start your weekend 😃.and oh, here's some flash fiction for your reading pleasure:
It was a cold Friday night. Joshua felt relieved to have reached that moment after months of planning and waiting. That particular week had been tough for him, and He looked forward to it’s end. This week, the month-long plans to bury and say goodbye to his mom came to an end.
Earlier that day, he took note of how anti-climatic the various events were. He had shelved his emotions to pour them out today, but was too busy planning, answering questions related to logistics and consoling others, that he never got the chance to. Everything was bitter-sweet; but having family around made it easier. Grieving with company was easier.
Family had come from all over the world to say goodbye to ‘Aunty Pat’. Cousins who live in the UK and USA were just arriving and the cocktail of accents in the air was refreshing. Today’s gathering was at the family house - where Joshua’s mom grew up. The compound seemed a lot smaller than he remembered. Vivid images of childhood stories and adventures kept flashing in his mind’s eye.
He felt tears well up in his eyes as a chorus of laughter filled the air. He joined the chorus just before it died down, and quickly swiped the tears away.
He was the middle born and only boy of three siblings. He was also the only one who lived with his mother when she died. It was a peaceful, yet unexpected - her death. As part of the grieving process, he had made a tall mental list of reasons why she died and if there was something that could’ve been done to avoid it. Nothing made sense and the void was too evident.
There were moments when he expected to hear his mother’s voice blending with her sisters’ loud shrieks. Other times, Joshua will notice his little sister get up and sit back down slowly. Being a busy-body, she usually checks on mom when at the family house to help with cooking, doing chores, etc. Sitting and chatting for hours did not come naturally to her but realizing mom’s absence in such a gathering was the final confirmation that everything changes from then on.
“Nothing will be the same” Joshua thought to himself. He dreaded returning to his regular life schedule, seeing as his mom was heavily involved in it. Joshua inhaled the Friday night air. It smelled like rain. It was the night before they laid his mother to rest. He knew life will have to get back to normal. He didn’t know whether he had the strength to do it.
Someone cracked a joke and everyone laughed. Joshua joined in the laughter and ignored the pain in his chest. Life will go on but it will never be the same.