Ice Water This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Feelings are private things. Emotions are held in fragile glass; one crack can cause the jar to shatter.

My great-grandfather died at 94. My grandmother acted like a hostess at the funeral, moving from mourner to mourner and smiling at each new face. A hostess, for Pete's sake. She never cried.

"You know," she said to me later, "people need an idol to worship. It helps to look across the room and say AThat's his daughter. See, she's not crying; she knows he's in a better place.'

"I didn't know," she said helplessly. "What if dead is dead? I felt detached. I chose his coffin like I was ordering an ice water. Why should I cry? I only felt like I had misplaced something and would surely find it if I stopped trying so hard."

Death passes overhead every day like so many clouds. Some are big and full, while others are misty and thinned out. Some contain rain. Clouds never permanently hide the sun, though, as long as an emotional breeze or two pushes each new one along.

The sun hasn't come out yet today. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Forever-darkness said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm
I loved it! The last paragraph, "Death . . ." really was beautiful.
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