Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"I'm sorry for your loss" I think they said.
"It was his time to go, he's in a better place."
"He's happier now, no more pain."
"I'm sorry" they said.
"I'm sorry."

I don't really remember what they said, all those well-wishers, at his funeral. I don't remember who they were. I remember loads of people, and hugs. I remember faces I hadn't seen in years mixing with those I saw everyday, all one big blur of sadness, hugging me, wishing me well. I remember tears and laughter as people shared stories of his life, but I don't remember the words or the people. I remember feeling like the room was so small and stuffy, but at the same time like my father's closed casket was miles away, though I could see it in the next room. I remember a sister asking me if I wanted to see him, to lift the lid on the casket, to do a small family-only viewing. I remember not wanting to out of his interests, not mine, because I still to this day have a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't him in that casket, that he's slipped away to Mexico or the Bahamas and he has a sweet little Senorita and a casita on the beach. I remember the smell of carnations in the air, which until then were one of my favorite flowers but ever after have reminded me of death.

I remember following the hearse to the cemetery. I remember sitting under the tent in the front row of chairs next to my mother. I remember one specific flower arrangement. I don't remember the words that were said or who said them. I remember the shock at each gunshot during his salute. I remember the wind picking up and blowing flower arrangements over, blowing the flag off his casket. I remember the strange men in uniform folding his flag into a perfect, neat little triangle and handing it to my mother. I remember sobbing as he was lowered into the ground and feeling hysterical at the thought of him locked in a casket that would be sealed into a cement tomb that would be buried 6 feet underground.

But I don't remember the faces, I don't remember the words.
"I'm sorry for your loss" I think they might have said.
"My condolences."
"I'm sorry."
I'M sorry.

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