February 13, 2008
By Lisa Marzoli, Basking Ridge, NJ

I remember my Grandpa’s. 6 years ago. 70 years and 1 month. My mom’s dad. I have some bad news. Grandpa died. Today at 12. He has been sick for 6 years and has now passed away. Seeing those tears in mom’s eyes. Wanting to die myself. Dad so calm and handling the death and us so well. I was only 7. Not understanding. Crying because everyone else was. Then we went to that white building. Mom, what’s the sign say? Funeral Home. Funeral homes are monsters eating up your loved ones. I told my mom I’d look, say a prayer and leave. But once I saw the coffin. His face, his head, his skin. So pale and hard like a faded rock. Too rough to touch. I stayed the whole time. Praying and crying. Finally realizing he wasn’t coming back.
My mom told me when he died; we’d go take a limo to the funeral. I was excited. I always wanted to go in a limo. Until we got in and noticed it was sad and dreary and no one wanted to be there. Not fun.
The church was next. I’d been there before with grandma and grandpa. Before he got sick. This time it was different. The priest blessed the coffin. I was too young and stupid to mourn so when we were kneeling I slept.
Then we went to one last place. All of us. I remember a fence and a gate. Driving far, far through the gate. Seeing the grass on each side of me. Those gray stones in the ground. Ranging in size. Then they blessed the coffin one last time before planting it in the ground like a flower. And we left. It was a sad day. A sad week. A sad year. I hadn’t understood. I was too young.
I wish I had been older. Maybe it’s better I was young. Maybe it’s better. Yea its better.

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