November 5, 2011
By Ashers96 SILVER, Marion, Iowa
Ashers96 SILVER, Marion, Iowa
8 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Rising up, I looked around curiously, not recognizing where I was. The room I was currently in was pristine, seeming as if it wasn’t lived in. The fact that I was floating in the air did not cross my mind. Glancing around, I investigated further. Rows and rows of chairs were set up, all facing a podium and a platform that was currently empty.

Pulling me from my troubled thoughts was a group of people trooping in, wheeling something in between them. Floating closer, my brow wrinkled in thought when I recognized the item as a casket. As I watched, the four men wheeled the casket up to the platform and lifted it up to put it in place, none to gently. A frazzled looking woman entered, curly hair escaping her bun, glasses perched on the edge of her nose. When she saw the rough treatment of the casket, she immediately began barking out orders.

I didn’t notice when flowers and other decorations were brought in, too focused on the casket. A shiver ran down my spine as I floated closer. The casket wasn’t open, but I was getting the strangest feeling from looking at it. Continuing to stare, as if the casket held the meaning to life, I never realized that the men who brought in the casket had left and instead, three new people entered. With a shock that felt like icy cold water being dumped over me, I realized that it was my family. My mom, dad, and brother.

Mom was crying steadily, holding tightly onto Dad’s hand, whose eyes were damp. Bubba walked on Mom’s other side, his head held tightly to her chest, his face wet with tears. Floating towards them, I opened my mouth and prepared to yell out to them. Only to shiver uncontrollably as my family walked completely through me.

Turning in shock, I watched as they slowly made their way to the first row of chairs, collapsing into them heavily. Nobody looked up at the casket. Again, I floated close.

“Mom? Dad? What’s going on? Why are you crying?” I asked, quietly, a sense of foreboding beginning to grow deep in my stomach. Nobody appeared to hear me. Floating until I stood in front of them, I repeated my question, but again, nobody answered. I was growing frantic now, and reached forward to shake my mom’s shoulder, but my hand went right through, and I watched as she shivered, as if a draft had swept through the room. Unnoticed to all of us, a man quietly entered and gently lifted up the top half of the casket. It wasn’t until Mom gave out a particularly loud sob and turned to bury her face in Dad’s chest, and Bubba stood, walking towards the casket as if in a trance, that I realized exactly what was wrong.

My own body lay in the casket. My lifeless face stared up, my eyes closed as if I was merely sleeping. The concept of sleeping was thrown off, however, by the pale face and overly dressed up body. Distantly, in the back of my mind, I remembered going to a funeral with my parents, and asking my dad why they dressed the dead body up so much. It wasn’t like they were going to be seeing anyone in the grave anyway. It all seemed to be moot point now anyway.

A numb sense of shock settled over me. I was dead. As my mom’s cries rang in my ears and my brother’s quiet sniffles, I floated slowly over to a chair and lowered myself down, hovering in place just over it. It felt like only minutes to me, but it had to have been at least two hours later when the loud woman entered again, her hair now smoothed back and her expression deceptively kind.

“I’m sorry, but we have another viewing scheduled, we have to begin now.” She commented, striding towards her podium. Another wave of shock washed over me. Not only was I dead, but apparently, only my family had come to my funeral. My ears seemed to stop working after this, and I watched as the woman began speaking, probably preaching about how I was a great person and would be forgotten even though I had never met her in my life. It wasn’t until my family stood as one, each quietly shuffling from the room without looking at the casket again, that I regained my sense and quickly followed.

“I can’t believe nobody else showed up. It’s like she’s been forgotten.” My dad commented absently, his hand petting my mom’s hair in a gentle gesture. Mom sniffled in response. His words summed up my thoughts entirely. Nobody else cared enough to come to my funeral. I had just died and was already forgotten. Fifteen years of my life had passed, and nobody cared to remember.

The author's comments:
This was inspired by a paper we wrote in one of my classes, about our biggest fear, and mine is dying and being forgotten.

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