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As Long Lives This...Then This Gives Life To You.
My aunt died of cancer,and since this piece could belong to any family,I think it might touch you too.The funeral took place in rural Ireland.
[571 words]
Sorcha Colleran
17,lives in Ireland.Still learning-still growing.Always exploring.Tries to write from the heart.
[June 2000]
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As Long Lives This...Then This Gives Life To You.
Sorcha Colleran

Funerals are always in the morning.There is something about that cold,bleak lifeless place that all funerals seem to inhabit,that the realest nightmares are about.The skies grow grey,the rain moistens the land overnight,and the roads shine.The soils around the grave grow slippery and slide readily into the dark hole.Clouds build up threatening to pour,but never do.

 I remember one of the funerals I have been to.Country people grow serious and quiet,lost in their own thoughts.The children sense the air of gloom and pause their playing.The family and neighbours and casual aqaintences stand on the graves.Stepping on the others ,they stand in silence to the intones of the rosary.There are those whose hearts are being buried in the ground with the soil,broken and muddy as it falls.While well-wishers stand with their saddest faces,waiting to show the others how deeply the death affected them.The subtle scent of insence tickles memorys of those who have gone before.Locals peer over the iron fence,curious about the large crowd.Murmers tarnish the plastic roses.
A child stands at the unblemished toomstone.Gloved hand clutches cold one,peering into the hole,craining to see where mommys going.
I stand guilt ridden that I can still smile,laden with the knowledge that my life will go on and that the empty place will not be at my table.Staring at faces I meet weary heartbreak on the mother of the dead.Something is wrong,she cries silently,this was not supposed to happen.
I stand among the silent listeners at the back.I see the pain of memory on my fathers face.Memorys I do not share,but cry for still.
I see the numbness of his sister.She was the one who sobbed on the casket,the one who wiped off the eye shadow with her tear-wet thumb.
"She never looked like that!"she cried,"This isn't her!"
Some relation confided with me that they had to embalm her because of the cancer.I was puzzled,why because of the cancer,but I did not ask.
I remember focusing on a ring of trees that surrounded the cemetary.They were conifers,dark green.Their movements had been silenced for the mass.The wind stayed elsewhere for the day.
                        She had called when she had learned the news.'Give me the number for that healer.'she said.Then it was 'could we stay here before we go to the airport.'(They had raised money to go to lourdes)
    I remember my aunties.The three of them had come.I could not tell the difference between them,exept for the protective air two of them adopted for their sister.She asked me how was school as she swallowed her morphine.They said the pain was getting worse,but she did not want to talk about IT.She called again later on;Magic had failed,God had chosen not to save her and it was only a matter of time before she closed her eyes on the world.My father missed her call.
       Now I sit,gripping a cup of lemonade,on the bench in her garden.Clothes still hang on the line.I see my uncle standing with the men holding a drink.Her children are running with a ball,tripping over the uncut grass.Do they even understand?
The paint she painted is still there,her make-up still lies in the bathroom.Her favorite buiscuits are in the cubard.Her cup is still next to the kettle.The books she read still lie on the shelf.My uncle meets my eyes with blank stare.I am just another on-looker on his private misery.He wipes the jam off his youngests' face.
                 He is strong,they said.He is being so brave.
                 But I see his face-his heart lies in the grave.



"this story is imaginative and brilliant it captures the feelings that can be sometimes overlooked when a loved one dies well done to the author she will be famous someday if there is justice in the world." -- jenny, bray, wicklow, ireland.
"this piece not only touched and moved me but also called out to the very core of my soul.this writer is exceptionally talented.i want to see more of her works published.i've no doubt she'll be famous one day,but she'll always be a little superstar to us!!!!" -- debbie, bray, leinster, wicklow.
"I would appreciate any commentt and advice you have,I need all the help I can get :) And the reviews above-although sweet and I will treasure them-I'm afraid they might have been a little biased,so any other reviewers (ones that live more than two miles away from me :))please tell me what you think.Thank you,Sorcha." -- sorcha, Ireland.
"I enjoyed this story quite a bit. Having been to a number of funerals myself I could easily see what you were describing. I think you could even expand the story further. Tell about the dinner after the funeral when people talk about the deceased and tell stories. Stuff like that. I liked the showing of the things left by the woman that hadn't been removed(makeup books etc.) Good work keeping writing." -- N.G. Wolfgang.


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© 1999 Sorcha Colleran
June 2000

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