My Mother’s Funeral

Originally published by Embodied Effigies in October’s Featured Writing

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The humid air of a July night clings to her stiff flowerprint dress—the mourning festers underneath everyone’s skin. The sky is black with the stars glinting like diamonds in sunlight. The waning moon gives off a sliver of light—God’s thumbnail as some call it. It just barely shimmers off the tops of the trees surrounding the grandmother’s house.

Family members wander the gravel driveway not exactly sure what to do after losing a sister, losing a daughter—a mother.

The youngest one holds onto the warm hands of her father. She sits on his lap on the stone steps of his mother-in-law’s house. The sky is enormous above them, but seems more like a dome rather than an endless mass of fire and ice. She can’t remove her eyes from the tear-streaked face of her father though.

“Where’s my Mommy?” her tiny voice asks.

Her father points up to the sky and says, “Mommy is the brightest star in the sky, and she will always be watching over you.”

Her endless brown eyes look up at the dark canvas above her. She didn’t choose just one star. Instead, all of them were her mother. All of them were her mother because she believed in angels while everyone else believed in loss.

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