The tangerine touch of the velvety blue flowers that were gracefully laid onto Maria’s grave by me softly, not paying attention to where I grimly kept them, but to the memories that we shared which aggressively fluttered at par with my emotions. Some were subtle and dandy while others were obnoxiously hysterical and mind blowing.
Life felt abrupt now, every tantalizing embrace of her love made me miss her even more. I remember concentrating on the contours of her wrinkled lips as they moved to tell me how she wouldn’t be there anymore in the days following yesterday, as subtly as possible. Her wrinkles were prominently visible as she gradually let her face low, sullen with sadness and despaired with dejection. My eyes were suddenly filled with disconsolation and the consequence fell on my dark cheeks.
I felt her hand repulsively wipe them and yet they fell onto the linen attire that I didn’t like much. I knew what she meant; I didn’t want it to happen though. The sadness ripped the saturated softness I had inside.
My thoughts drifted away as I watched the coffin get addressed by the priest reciting one of the prayers he usually recited and therefore, showed a lugubrious façade which I believe he did best; even better then the prayers he rendered to the inconspicuous set of facades that yawned and silently laughed at the shoes or the attire that some of the people were wearing.
“We gather here today as we experience the absence of Maria Antoinette, a humble thanks giver to the lord Almighty and a…”
The priest clothed in black continued with the ritual, his words monotonous and uninflected and hence paid no effect to the crowd in front of him. He too, didn’t seem to worry much about the gushing emotions that they went through, while some felt undeterred by Maria’s death; others felt emotions rushing repeatedly.
An hour whilst we threw infinitude amounts of moist sand grains into the grave, as a token of respect, had passed. Drops from the azure sky began to flood the indigenous plants surrounding some of the coffins, which were subtly drying; thesupposed lush pink flowers were droopy and now distorted thanks to the flamboyance of the rains that made their sadism quite rampant to the crowd that simultaneously began to withdraw their self conceited selves from the event. Even the priest, after viewing the crowd thinning out rapidly, left.
The only people that remained amongst the crowd were my family and I because only we knew what Maria was to us and the façade that she’d show everyone that everything was fine and dandy. However, only we knew what life was relentlessly showering upon her; the sickness that was slowly engulfing her innermost beauty, only we knew.
However, I couldn’t make myself challenge the after effects of not having the ever loving and selflessly caring Maria around. I needed her presence as she let me feel free and independent. She understood me through my perspective; she was divine to be with and her diligence towards talking and taking care of my small self, made me love her even more. Death availed onto her making its outcome an unexpected siren of shattered hopes and expectations. It demanded to be known but she never felt it. It possessed her so ostentatiously, slowly destroying her selfless love, till the corpse turns to soil. It came but never left. It entered but shedidn’t feel anything. Like an illegal trespasser and an unforeseen solace, for a soul that was incessantly mutilated by cancer. It is prevarication for the deceased. Its arrival wasn’t witnessed, but when it did arrive, it was solemnly elaborate. It exposited genuinely and distressed me metaphorically.
It was the calm after the storm, but here, there was no calm. The maturity in Maria welcomed it, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. However, in the most brutal way, it reveled in imbibing to its own rules. It never waited for me to sink her death in. Sadly, time, tide and death too, wait for no man. It resided on the unknown shores of trouble. Why, unfortunately death can’t be cheated upon. If it could, Maria would’ve been here with me, gaining another chance to survive upon. It otherwise, trapped her and engulfed her into the chasms of its depth that it set upon her. No one can run away from it. No one can hide from the arrival of death too. Some offer their own selves to death. They’re too overwhelmed by their emotions due to which they fall prey to death. Luckily death hasn’t chosen you then why go to its chamber?
“Think of it in this way, Maria was a gift to us; a blessing. But now, she’s a gift from life to demise. I’ve always had this belief that life and death are lovers, and the gifts are given to the death maybe to attain a sense of belonging and passion,” she chuckled a little bit. My mother sensed the grief that held onto me, continued, “Yes, death is just too selfish to give back. But well, you can’t do anything about it, can you? It is depressing, but…”
Yes, death and life were supposedly lovers in an enchanted secret and maybe life gave it its precious values, while death kept taking it oh so selfishly, never to return life’s back. However, life still yielded upon her gifts sending in new treasures and gleams of hopeful nostalgia to her lover, who invariably never seemed to partake in anything, but exuberantly receive the gifts. Life on the other hand, cannot stop death, as death is her obligated lover, its dark side that painfully hovers around life who indulges in the sweetest of her precious gifts that she sorrowfully and deplorably gives. While death, engulfed with its vice and prejudice receives it.
I silently let this imminent theory sink into the depressed aura I found myself in. It was a beautiful theory, which I believe she was very passionate about. She derived her life from such theories which were inspirational and enigmatic every time she let her words sway into whatever e motion I went through. It was soothing and it filled me with tranquility.
By now all the attention drifted away from Maria to the calamity that dripped from the skies. Overwhelming emotions seeped into my thoughts, all of it leading to the pain oozing out emotionally from me. It crept into the darkest and the deepest parts of me, which I couldn’t let go of. I had to embrace it, I had to stop fighting it but let it inundate through me. Even the air that I breathed incarnated the effect of pain.
“Let’s go inside sweety?” My mother comforted me, as she saw the tearful face that I managed to camouflage due to the water droplets that calmly landed on my face. “You cannot hide them.” She gestured to the tears that crawled down my cheeks and wiped them.
After which I headed back, repeatedly looking behind myself at her rust coloured grave. Back to where everyone judged me, looked at me; aghast was what their look expressed as they stared at the stygian chiffon dress that was by now degraded to one of a pauper in their surreptitious eyes, due to the raging wetness caused by the rains and the dusky grime and soot embraced by the mud I sat upon. It was quite an ordeal, they didn’t know as to what I felt. The pain that had consumed my innermost darkness slowly spread like an infection, to my heart, which beat rapidly.
I somehow didn’t feel angry or even disturbed by their judgmental collaboration, in fact, it didn’t even matter. How could it? Someone really close to me had fallen into the desires of the deceased. So I couldn’t let them drive me even more further to melancholy.
I’d come here to pay my respects, however, the crowd dressed with disparage made it difficult for me. Even looking behind my shoulder at Maria’s coffin that glistened in the sun’s effulgence made it look like crime; faces stared at me and their looks followed the dress that was officially termed, “Hideous!” by one kind, fellow audience.
Besides thinking about the people judging my ‘hideous’ attire, I focused on the fun Maria and I cherished with each other, not knowing that we were making ourselves some beautiful memories to endeavor for, in the latter years to come that would just make me smile randomly.
“I won’t be able to forget her, Mom,” I smiled. “She’s given me a little too much to remember,” I added.
“I know, likewise,” She replied.
Neither did their words not did their looks affect me anymore. The thoughts just reminiscently gushed in like a flood seeping in through my memories. That’s the thing about our memories, when something leaves us; it’s the memories that we can glance at when nostalgia hits and captures our thoughts. She wasn’t just my affectionate helper; she was a composed, considerate and a wise lady. The memories that we’ve had together may not always be in my mind, but they’ll remain forever in my heart.
- Disconsolation – very unhappy or sad
- Lugubrious – full of sadness or sorrow
- Façade – a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation