A Funeral in Reverse by Cindy Pereira

My husband loved her with all his heart.

At times it angered me to the core, but I lived with it till the day she died. And even then, he stood by her coffin and cried, stroking her cheek, now all sunken and cold in death. I tried to pull him away, to get him to sit beside me, so we could get on with the service, but he refused to leave her side. Then my dad came over, pulled me to my chair and whispered:

“Let him grieve.”

I wanted to argue, but I clamped my jaws shut. Sure, he needed to grieve, but not in this manner, in front of the whole congregation! It was embarrassing how he sobbed, how he touched her hair and arranged and rearranged the rosary beads around her stiff fingers; how he moved the flowers about, from here to there, and from there to here, like they were bunched uncomfortably around her and disrupted the sleep she’d never wake from.

Thankfully, the funeral, though solemn was quick, and over and done with in good time, but even then, he sat crying uncontrollably by her fresh grave and refused to leave the place. So, one by one, all left him alone, glancing at me, almost apologetically!

Dad dropped me home and said:

“He’ll get over her. Just be patient.”

It was nearing midnight when I heard my husband drive in, and I sighed in relief. Perhaps he’d been at the bar, drinking his sorrow away.

But when I opened the door, I shrieked in horror.

He stood there, all sweaty and grimy, holding in his arms the stiff, ashen woman he had exhumed from the grave.

“Move aside,” he ordered like a maniac and bulldozed past the doorway. “My mother is coming to stay.”

Selected: Weekly Write Week #17
Published in Issue #30

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