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Iléana Amara Jul 10
they say that to love someone in a lifetime,
you have to attend a thousand funerals
of people who they used to be.

i stood before yours in disbelief,
as you stood before mine;
pale, cold, grasping for life.

IA
Inspired by Priebe's words.
vanessa ann Apr 15
what they don’t tell you about funerals is that nothing ever feels real in that too-cold room. not the flowers. not the food. not the rooms in the back your uncles stayed in to keep watch. not the ill-fitting white t-shirt your father made you purchase yesterday. not the sad smile on your grandmother’s face instead of her usual bright ones. and certainly not the dead body of your grandfather in the epicenter, still as the corpse he is and none like the grandparent you grew up with.

there was no such thing as an open casket in your family, which was good, you suppose. it’d be too much to see his face without his usual frown. the smell was off. like tea and incense and flower petals—the ones you used to bathe the buddhist statues at the vihara every new year.

the catered pork ribs taste like sandpaper. you keep waiting for the buttery taste of your grandfather’s recipe to hit your tongue but you are met with msg. it was one of the many disappointments you encountered in those three days, three absences from school. none of your friends checked up on you further than to offer their “deepest condolences”. your crush has not texted you back. you drink bottled mineral water as your mother fights with your father, whose father had just died, again.

by the time the ceremony comes you are confronted with the gold of the casket up close. you wonder if it was real gold. a few hours ago your little cousins, yet to understand the concept of death, tugged at your sleeves and asked when grandpa would be home. you sealed your lips shut and let your younger cousin handle them like she always does. because you’re not ready to admit that you don’t understand death either; not in second grade when the dragonfly your classmates cruelly stomped on no longer flew, not even less than a month later, when your other grandfather passes.

you whisper words of prayer in the mother tongue you no longer remember. your cousin sheds a tear in front of you and you wonder if it’d be appropriate to console her now. you think about how much your kneecaps hurt from kneeling for a long time. your aunt’s cries perfectly masked the buzzing phone you sneaked into your pocket. later that night, your third uncle told everyone that he saw his father-in-law welcomed by guan yin herself; you wonder if it was true, or merely another lie adults tell kids and themselves to feel better about the nonsensical nature of mortality.

what they don’t tell you about funerals is how much like a fever dream they are. when the proceedings are over you drive straight home. home smells like home and your maid made your bed like usual. the stuffed bear on your pillow has not moved since the morning. it is 11 pm, and your mother yells at you to sleep soon because your grandfather may be a jar of ashes stored in vihara but you have school tomorrow. it is time to go to bed.
—when life goes on but a loved one's had come to a standstill
hannah Feb 16
I never not ache like this
The back of my mind is
Ringing like a church bell
The somber sound of
A drizzling day's funeral
I need to find some more music.
Jack Torrance Jan 17
This lack of emotion,
is what has shaped me.
It’s made me seem cold,
but I’m not what you see.

First funeral at thirteen,
one of my dads good friends.
Stabbed by his stepson,
such a horrible end.

Next year it got worse,
that’s when grandma died.
I remember the funeral,
and forcing myself not to cry.

Then two weeks later,
my dads best friends heart quit.
I held back the tears,
trying hard to control it.

Then six months later,
they found my grandpa.
Loaded gun in his hand,
his memories on the wall.

I started to crack,
but didn’t let it show.
I had to be strong,
so that no one would know.

Then three months later,
my uncle died.
I tried to control it,
but finally broke down and cried.

Running away,
till my dad caught me by the hand.
Then saying I was sorry,
when I could barely stand.

I didn’t want them to worry,
when they were hurting so much.
But it finally broke me,
my fathers touch.

I wept in his arms,
and could feel his tears on my cheek.
He was trying to comfort,
and I was ashamed to be weak.

The moment I saw,
my sweet uncles face,
something broke inside me,
that I had kept at bay.

I still cannot think,
about that without tears.
It breaks me every time,
even after all of these years.

So if I seem distant,
then I apologize.
Just know that I’m weeping,
it’s just on the inside.
As I grow older
it seems I attend more funerals
than weddings
it’s quite confusing sometimes
trying to distinguish between the two
Taliesin Jan 2019
I saw you, the summer child
lying in a bathtub filled with stars
while clouds spread through water.
Reddish, pinkish lips stood out
on skin the colour of pollen, ash
spreading, staining water.
The stars I learned were razor blades
I cut myself as I pulled you out
and ash slipped through my fingers.

Midday come early on Sunday morning
you should’ve seen the basket that they tossed you in,
covered with roses, perfumed and veiled
you would’ve liked my speech, I hope.
You would’ve liked his eyes.
He’ll worship you, I know.
He’ll make a pilgrimage
every Sunday that would make a novice blush
in envy, but for love
he’d follow you, his angel
all the way down with communion
‘till he’s sick, I hope
you’re proud.
Francie Lynch Jan 2019
I took the pen with me,
After signing the parlor guest book,
At the Home.

You might think of forgiving me,
Thinking as good people do,
I took it as a memorial sticking point;
But I didn't know the deceased.

I was acting as a devout escort,
To be seen as doing the right thing.
Perception, you've been told,
Is everything.

So, I made sure no one saw me
Take the pen.

For extra insurance,
To project my semblance,
Following the eulogies,
I attended the luncheon,
And ate salmon sandwiches,
And carrot sticks.
On leaving, I grasped the hands:
Sorry for your troubles;
Came home and used that pen,
To create this.
The End.
Chris Slade Dec 2018
This is something I wrote to be read at my Cousin Rene's funeral.

Oh My! I'm zooming down the Spanish coast... dipping my toes in the Med.
But you might find me on a Cornish Campsite drinking Pina Coladas instead.
Or it could be me, arm-in arm with good pals in pre-war summers... painting Withernsea red!
To all of those who saw me through the darker days I am thankful that you helped & guided...

Oh My! ...But I'm better now... I'm free... it's been a trying time, but once again... I can be me!
And there's something else I've just realised. Do you know what? I can see!
The last few years haven't been kind to me. Apparently I hadn't been making much sense.
I knew inside what I wanted to say... being with me must have made people nervous... tense.

But now the pressure's lifted, for loved ones and for me.
I was ready - went on too long. Now I'm on the 'other side'.
From now you’ll hear me on the wind in the trees and my whispers, in the surf and the tide.
I'm pain free, light and frothy again, teetering on heels... I’m a dizzy apricot blonde... No need for me to hide...
I might even drop in on you as I'm told you can... to say a quick thanks for all who helped - or tried...

Oh My!... and yes....people to thank? It's like an Oscar speech...
there's a list....but amongst all one stands out... shines like a star...
My Chef... my Chauffeur... my Ears.... my Eyes... my Angel... my Wingman... My Ken!
By my side through bad times, the good times and all those difficult bits... Not the now - but the then...
My Multi-tasker, My Carer...My Rock... My 'Rock & Roller'...
I remember we used to jive way back when...
And as the old song goes, I'm sure ... We’ll meet again!
Oh My!
"Oh My!" was cousin Rene's go to phrase when anything surprised her, amused her or was worthy of comment... She loved her caravan trips around Europe. She and my mum would go out on the razz in Withernsea and Hull in the 1930s... "Oh My!"
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