Grief

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I hate crying. I especially hate crying in front of other people. My eyes get red and puffy, my nose runs and I look like a mess. It’s something I avoid at all costs, but today I don’t care. Everyone’s crying and we can’t help it. We are all sad because life will never be the same. I turn back to Rachel as she gives a speech.
“She was so sweet and funny, just being around her could brighten up your day. I remember one time at the beach, we were all so excited to go, but the weather was so bad. It rained the entire time, but Brooke wouldn’t let it get us down. She found an umbrella and insisted we sit under it because the sun would come out, eventually. Everyone else on the beach thought we were crazy, sitting out in a storm under a tiny umbrella trying to get tan, but we had the best day.” Rachel sighed, reminiscing.
That was a great day. We did have so much fun. We went home completely soaked with even less color than we had that morning and we didn’t even care. But that wouldn’t be able to happen again, because we were stupid and careless and thought we were invincible. And because of it our lives were never going to be the same. Our group got smaller and we would always be scarred with the memory of that day. I looked over at my mom who is crying as my dad hugs her closely. All of the other parents are also grief stricken, all wearing their nice clothes, black of course, which only reminds everyone more of why we are here and what happened.
Looking around I take in the scenery for the first time today. It’s a beautiful day which just contrasts even more with the depressing scene unfolding before me. Green grass coats the ground, newly moved in certain areas, over the plots that were recently filled. I’ve always been afraid of cemeteries, but also a bit intrigued. I never liked coming because it meant that someone had to pass away, but it always interested me to look at the dates on the tombstones, and see how long ago the person was buried. This tombstone would mark the date three days ago. Fresh and new.
Another speaker got up, prepared with a speech that will turn the sniffling into more sobs as it brings up memories of a beloved daughter, sister, niece, cousin, or friend.
“Brooke was unlike anyone I have ever met in my life. She always knew how to make someone feel better when they were down and was always around when you needed someone to talk to. She never judged, and she was always there for you, even if she just met you. Brooke had a way of putting her whole self into something, not stopping until it was complete. She never gave up on anyone,” Jeremy said, stopping every few minutes to wipe a tear from his eye.
I absently listened to the speech, happy I wasn’t making one. I’ve never been good at public speaking, I always get nervous. I look back at the empty hole in the ground with the casket hanging on top. Soon it would be lowered into the soil and filled with dirt. What is it like in there? I’ve always wondered about that, too. It’s scary to think about being underground, in the cold dirt, braving the elements, alone, forever. It made me sad, especially when I was young, to think about my grandparents, the only people I’ve ever known to die, in there, but my parents reassured me that they were happier now, more peaceful and saved from their suffering, and they don’t even feel it because there really up in heaven. But what if the person wasn’t suffering, and shouldn’t have died. This thought plagues me with guilt as I think back to that day; the day. The day when everything happened. It feels like it was so long ago when really it was just a few days. Everything happened so quickly. We thought we knew better but we didn’t. We thought we were fine and the few beers didn’t affect us; we were fine to drive. I especially didn’t worry because I knew I wouldn’t be driving, and I trusted Lynn, I didn’t think she had too much to drink. I guess she feels the most guilt out of all of us, though I hope she doesn’t because we know it was an accident and just as much our fault as hers. She really never saw the truck coming, not until it was smashed into the side of our car, but by then it was too late.
It was Lynn’s turn to speak, and I watched her walk solemnly up the steps to give her speech.
“I will never forget Brooke, and never forget what happened. It will always be on my conscience and I will always hold the knowledge that I killed my best friend. I’ll miss her every day that I live and never forgive myself for killing such an amazing person. I know I will never meet anyone like Brooke.”
Lynn’s grief poured through every word she spoke and it was clear how much it affected her. I thought about the situation. The depressing, guilt filled, disaster that took place days before, and the aftermath that left everyone sobbing as they listened to speeches about someone they loved so much. I looked around and took in everyone’s faces, and smiled. How odd to attend your own funeral and hear everyone talk about how much they loved you. I thought about this as I looked over at the burial plot, the same plot I would soon be lowered in, to stay forever.





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