The Funeral

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The day dawned bright and clear, with the crisp smell of fall heavy in the air. I got out of bed and stumbled into the shower. As the warm water ran down my body and the smell of my pomegranate body wash enveloped my body I began to wake up and then I realized what today is. It's funny how a beautiful day can make you forget the ugly things it has in store. Today is my beloved Uncle Chris's funeral. As I came to this realization sadness washed over me and I was filled with emotions so strong that I could almost feel them. Emotions such as pain, loss, heartbreak, and love.
As I stepped out of the shower and dried off memories of him filled my mind and depression settled over me like a dark cloud. I walked to my room and dressed in my best black suite and stocked up on tissues. I didn't bother with my make-up for I knew the tears of my grief would just wash it away. Just before I left my room I grabbed my biggest pair of sunglasses to shield my eyes from the sun that seemed almost blinding on a dreary day such as this. I made my way downstairs and found my whole family waiting for me on the couch. They were all dressed really nicely, even my little brother who passionately hates dressing up(as most boys do). As I looked upon each on of their faces I realized that small tears were sliding down my brother’s cheek, my mom was struggling to keep her composure, and my dad was trying very hard to transfer his strength to them. They got up from the couch and we all walked out to the car with a dark cloud of grief hanging over us ready to give at any moment.
When we arrived at the church I my mom and I sought out my aunts and my grandmother, while my dad and brother went to go find a pew. We found them sitting by my grandmother's car, my aunt's anguish and sadness was clearly written on her face and displayed with the tears sliding down her check, and my other aunt and grandmother were trying very hard to console her while at the same time consoling themselves. We all embraced in one big hug transferring all of the inner strength to my aunt who was hurting worse than any of us could ever imagine. As the time for the mass to start drew near we linked arms and entered the church to find a pew towards the front. As we filed into the pew we made sure my aunt was in the middle of all of us so we could help her through this very difficult time. I set my jaw in a hard line and resolved to be strong for the rest of my family. As the mass progressed so did the intensity of my aunts heart retching sobs.
When it came time for the eulogy my uncle's sister stepped up to the podium and began talking about my uncle. She talked about how funny he was, how he always had a smile whenever someone needed it the most, how he could listen better than anyone she knew, and how much he just loved life. As she concluded her speech by saying that he was here with us today smiling at each one of us and wiping away our tears, the sweet melody of my uncle’s favorite song filled the church. Puff the magic dragon. At this point I just couldn't hold back my grief any longer I was consumed by body retching sobs and I could taste the salty tears as they slid down my wet check into my mouth. My aunt drew me into her and we cried. We cried for the loss of my uncle and because of the pain we were feeling but most of all we cried for all the life that my uncle never got to live. You see my uncle was only 34 on the day he died, he had his whole life ahead of him but it was ripped away by the hands of fate.
The priest concluded the mass and we all filed out to our cars for the procession. I chose to ride with my aunts and my mom went with my grandmother. We started the car, put on the flashers, and entered the procession just behind the limousines carrying his immediate family. The procession to the cemetery seemed to drag on forever but as soon as we got there I wished it had taken longer. I wasn't ready for the final goodbye. I don't think anyone was. As we made our way to the grave site the smell of freshly dug dirt and the sweet aroma of flowers filled my nose. We stepped under the tent and sat on one of the hard, white, plastic, folding chairs. As the rest of his family and friends gathered around the priest began his sermon. To this day I couldn't tell you what he said for I was too caught up in my own grief to listen. When he said the final words my aunt and I rose, sobbing uncontrollably and pushed our way through the crowd. We each picked a pure white lily that smelled as sweet as the morning dew from the banquet near the casket. We laid them on top of the casket, touched the corner, and with that we said farewell. Even today, almost two years from when he died, he stills lives on vividly in my memory and sometimes when I'm really down I can feel him smiling at me and I can feel his strong arms around my shoulders picking me up and moving me forward. My uncle was an incredible person who is missed by many, but the important thing is his memory still lives on.





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