A cherry wood casket adorned in blooming dahlias and baby’s breath. The sober dark shine of the wood echoed the dull amber lighting. From the door I was oblivious to the milling crowd unsure of what may have been familiar peering out at me. It felt a distance as I took my first cautious step forward toward him.
A head full of silver white. Eyes closed. In this five years he had remained true to the picture I keep in my heart. A few more lines around his blue eyes hidden in slumber. Slight shadows beneath his eyes and in the hollows of his cheeks. I reach out to caress his cheek rather letting my hand fall to my side. He was forever lost to me.
Her small hand eased into mine as I stood deep in memory. I glance down at her. Through her I could see him teaching me how to ride my shiny new bicycle. Buying me my first cassette player and giving me my first book. She was so young but she remembered.
Sitting forlornly in the heavy pew on bended knee we sat aside her. Taking her blond head upon my shoulder cooing softly giving her all the strength that I had. In her we could hear the rich timbre of his voice in song and the joy felt in our heart when he bought us our first guitar. His stern reminders and barrel laugh that rumbled deep within his chest.
She was beautiful in her long flowing gown of white, a veil shielding her eyes. Standing quietly in the corner a stark contrast in a sea of black. With her we reminisced the gentle steps holding his arm proudly towards her future. Their first dance and misty-eyed kiss when she said goodbye. A young woman.
From each of them she held onto the good, filling what had lain so achingly empty with warmth and with light. In this she could finally forgive. In eyes wide open she awakens bringing to light the lessons of regret. For still he lives and walks and breathes this earth. Should he wonder who mourns him.