The funeral director led the coffin into the old chapel followed by the mourners. It was a dull, rainy day. The type of weather you’d expect for a funeral really. I don’t normally cry this much at funerals, but this time it was different. It was my mother’s funeral. I don’t think I can hold it up. The night before she died, my boyfriend, Matt, broke up with me. He probably doesn’t care that my mom is dead in a coffin.
Sat inside the Chapel, I clutched onto my handbag with my eyes squeezed shut, tears running down my cheeks, wishing this was a nightmare. That’s what it is really. But I can’t wake up to escape this one. I felt a squeeze around my arm. I jumped with alarm.
“Mom?” I muttered.
It was my sister, Kayla. She was crying her blue, beady eyes out, which made the sleeve of my cardigan quite damp.
“Come here” I said with open arms embracing her for a hug.
“I don’t want mommy to be an angel, Scarlett”. She gazed up to me. How horrible it feels to not being able to make her happy right now.
“Me either, sweetie. But she’s our angel. And you know whenever there’s a bright star in the sky? Or when light shines brightly through a window? Or when you feel a warm, comfortable breeze?”
“That will be her. That’s when she will be with us, okay? We can talk to her and she can hear us, but we can’t hear her or see her”
Auntie Morgan came along and took Kayla to sit with her.
The funeral began with a hymn, then the pastor said a few words. Next, another hymn. Now it was time for me to stand up and say some words. My stomach in knots, I got up while inhaling a large breath before heading up to the stand.
“I’m not the best for giving speeches. Especially at funerals, but I’m going to give it my best shot…. My mom…. was the kindest, most caring person I have ever known. She always seemed a happy character. It was very rare that she didn’t have that gleaming smile on her face which was accompanied by the positive,optimistic attitude….”
My heart was pounding as I swallowed. I briefly looked at the mourners that were here for my mom before continuing.
“I remember how she’d coax me to going to school when I was younger by making it sound like paradise…. Finger painting pretty pictures so she could place them on the fridge…. refreshing naps so I could dream happy dreams…. meeting fun friends… She always made things sound really good… and if they were things that were really bad… she’d make sure we’d pull through and be by our sides-“
An old oak door creaked open. I glanced towards the back of the chapel. There was Matt. His hair very wet, leather jacket with rain droplets striding down the sides of and dark jeans but a white shit with a black tie. He made an effort. What was he doing here? Surely he no longer cared?
I had to continue.
“One of my favourite memories is when she read me my favourite children’s book at bedtime… Rumplestiltskin…..”
I began to read the short story before choking up halfway through….
“I can’t do this” I said in a breath”
I ran down the steps and out of the church with the doors slamming behind me. I threw myself onto an old bench on the chapel’s grounds and cried. I felt a pair of arms wrapping around me. There was grandma.
“Now, now, honey. It’s okay. You just cry and let it out.” she whispered into me. By now I was howling with tears.
“M-mom would b-be dis-disappointed…. w-wouldn’t she?” I choked.
“No, dear” gran said in a soft tone. “She’d understand that her baby girl is upset because she’s lost her mother.”
We hugged for a little while. I sensed someone was there. I looked up to see Matt with an umbrella looking at us. It was quiet for a moment.
“I’ll leave you two alone” Said grandma as she got up to return into the church.
Matt sat beside me. Neither of us spoke a word for a while. Then he handed me a tissue.
“Thanks” I whispered.
It went back to silence.
“Look… about our break up….” He began.
“Don’t worry about it” I interrupted.
I gazed up.
“I was drunk, and simply pissed off. I had a bad day. I completely regret everything.”
Now he decides to say it. Today of all days.
“I know today is a bad day to say this-”
“But I thought you might need some support. So, I’m here for you.”
“As a friend?”
“If you want. Or more.”
I searched his face for a moment before collapsing into him to hug him.
(Image Copyright – nevertorun )