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The Logistics of Sympathy

A handkerchief.
A bottle of water’s probably a good idea.
Wear something dark and demure…what did I wear last time?  Can’t find it right now, but this will do.
Get the smaller purse, got my wallet, the GPS, the address.  I already mailed my letter.  Is there anything else?   I guess not.
Too early to leave right now, can’t get there too early.  What am I going to do there? I don’t know anyone really.  What should I do? My stomach aches…maybe I’ll hit the bathroom, I could put these dishes away…
I sat down on the couch in the dark light of the morning, staring at my living room, the tv off, thinking about her.  Thinking about her daughter.  Thinking about me.  Tears started to sting my eyes.  Was I just being selfish?  No, the tears were for her.  But they were also for me, in fear.   It could happen to me too. I could be her.
I looked at the clock. Time to go.  I got in my car, the same way I had done every day, not expecting today to be going back the same path so soon.   I drove, silently and slowly, keeping my car at the speed limit, but with purpose.   An hour and fifteen minutes later, I arrived.   Someone directed me where to park.  I slowly put away my GPS.  Sat in the car a few minutes, still feeling I was too early.   I finally took a deep breath, stepped outside and walked up the steps of the funeral home.

6 responses to “The Logistics of Sympathy”

  1. Avatar Elyse says:

    This is beautifully written. Makes me feel a little like crying.

  2. Avatar minal doshi says:

    Payal, its so true and written with perfection. Couldn’t have been better. I like your choice of words.

    • paypar paypar says:

      I'm glad that you can relate. No one ever talks about what you need to do to attend a funeral. Unfortunately, over the past 3 years I've attended 4. Doesn't matter how well or how little I knew the person, it's always hard, but I have never regretting going.

  3. Avatar ---- says:

    I found the funeral topic discussed in a sensitive way that most anyone can relate to. I appreciated the first person perspective that visits the ranges of emotions that one goes through when a loved one has died.

  4. Avatar xtina says:

    very powerful…something anyone can relate to.

  5. llxt llxt says:

    This is a lovely piece. Great opportunity for expansion here, when you say you were "…thinking about her. Thinking about her daughter. Thinking about me…" What were you thinking about? Give us the memories… It's probably too soon, but–one day–I hope you'll come back to that moment, and record it too.

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