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Funeral and Flowers

By Pia Harden
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Pia and CamillaThe yin and the yang in life.

Pain and anger, a deep sadness, a deep joy, I felt it all.

In the Swedish well-manicured garden with the mixture of

Flowers and their individual scent shooting out at me. I inhaled it all.

A blanket with pinkish patterns to lie on.

An infant child, a mother.

I look at you, you look at me, as if you know so much more than I do.

You have been here before, I thought to myself.

I whispered, “Where did he go?"

Your big brown eyes looking back at me, so reassuring.

As if you said "Lives go on".

Tears welling up in me, but my eyes wouldn’t welcome them,

Out of exhaustion, they would dwell in my throat.

You never got to meet him. I was too late. I am sorry! I whispered again.

Your little hand reached up and you touched my face.

Oh my goodness! My heart jumped from confusion to bliss,

A place that exists beyond the darkness and the light.

And what fortune, I thought.

“Oh, what fortune to have the privilege to be your mother”

In a time period of six months,

I had gained one soul in my life, my daughter and I had lost one soul,

My father.

Such a tumultuous relationship, so much unfinished karma.

Did we come to a conclusion?

Did we balance out what we had done to each other in past lives?

I wondered to myself.

In the tiny church where we held the funeral,

I stood by his coffin, with my husband and my daughter

A couple of steps beside me.

I whispered,

“Thank you father for this journey that we had together in this life time.

I thank you for all the lessons you taught me.

I am sorry for the letter that I wrote you, but you know that I was angry,

I know you are in a better place. They say that family is forever. Please rest up

And I will see you in our next journey together,

And I hope that then, we will be the best of friends.

Father, rest in peace, you’ve done well. Bye for now.

I turned around, blinded by emotion, I walked back to my seat,

In a fog I saw friends

And family from at least twenty years before.

They all walked up to me after their goodbyes and they hugged me.

I smiled to them, I was excited to see all of them.

Then came the line up of my immediate family,

The priest gently guided me to where we should

Stand and say goodbye and say thanks to everyone that had come.

First my mother, then my brother, my sister, my daughter and me and last my husband.

"I hope she doesn’t make it to the funeral", my mother had said,

"If she comes, I won’t come", my sister had said.

My brother had been silent and only inspired by the two of them.

But I stood there, shaking but smiling with my head held high.

The last person had left.

I had choices to make.

Do I turn my back on them and follow the last person out?

Or do I make a more meaningful move.

My husband in suspense. Leaving the choice rightfully so to me.

I walked up to my mother, I notice how she clasped her cane tightly,

as if in preparation for anything.

"She is scared", I thought surprisingly.

I hugged her, I hugged my brother.

My sister had walked away, but came running when

She saw the hugs. I gave her one too.

This is your grand daughter’, I said, turning back to my mother.

My mother reached out a finger and touched Camilla

A little hesitantly, but oh so proud.

Her face full of excitement.

This is your uncle I told Camilla, and this is your aunt.

My sister put her hand on Camilla’s head and said,

“We are born on the same day with 44 years in between’’.

I stood there a little while.

My husband overjoyed at the process.

Then we walked out together and they walked to their car and we walked to

Ours. We said goodbye again, with no promises.

Back at the house, my aunt said, after you change,

“Why don’t you, Bobby and Camilla rest on a blanket in the garden?

I will make coffee and I bring out some of my homemade cookies.”

A long journey had been made, big steps had been taken,

Past sorrows had to be forgotten and worked out in its own time.

I took a deep breath, taking in the new, letting go of the past.

We laid there together, my family and I in the garden with the green grass and

The blissfully scented flowers.

Camilla, I picked you up, I held you close.

I whispered.

Thank you, for your comforting, but it stops here.

I am your mother, therefore my responsibility lays in comforting you and your

Role is very simply to be the little girl you want to be.

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