“Good to know that if I ever need attention all I have to do is die.”

― Sylvia Plath


He stood there for about a minute, his eyes reddened behind the dark shades that hid them, the paper placed neatly on the pulpit. He wore a black shirt, tucked into gray trousers, you could see the status of his torso – healthy, built, I still wanted to reach out and touch. He cleared his throat and started.

“She was so full of life that was our source of hope, none of us thought we’d see this day, and we are greatly pained. Standing here now, I am only waiting to wake up; we all are caught in a very long, nightmare and we will wake up.”

I swear, at that point, I was fighting back tears…he was genuinely broken; he could barely keep the shiver out of his voice.

“I loved her, we all did. She would walk into the room, her fears, pain, all bottled up inside, and she would laugh harder than us all, smile wider, touch us all in such divine ways, there was no dull moment when she brought her happy with her, and she always brought her happy with her. That was the hope we clung to. I love her so much, I can’t wait to wake up and tell her.”

I was, you guessed right, crying all the moisture out of me by then and yet I was pleased somehow that I was hearing all that, that I was present. It was comforting and to be honest, I hadn’t looked up since it all began, but when I finally did, I nearly fell back from shock. The church hall was filled up on both floors, there were canopies outside to seat more people, and that was also filled up. Mom and Dad were probably wondering who exactly their daughter had been, where from all those people? I stared, awed, humbled. Friends, loved ones, sympathizers, family. It was warm inside. What grand show of love, I was struggling not to burst from appreciation!

The tributes kept coming in as copiously as the tears flowed, and hearts were heavy, you could feel it in the room, hearts were heavy.

And to think for years I had felt alone, not regarded. I walked up to where the glossy dark brown coffin was propped and looked down; face calm as in sleep, arms locked over the chest, white silk dress; soft, gentle…nobody said it would be that much fun

I looked beautiful!



10 thoughts on “IN ATTENDANCE…

  1. ‘Abusua d) funu’ well articulated in this one. The last paragraph got me laughing :).
    I have written something about people writing their own tributes before they die. I think i’ll post that after reading this.


  2. Beautifully written and very true especially to African funerals i.e Nigeria in my case. Only if we could make this wonderful gestures real to one another while still alive – life will be bliss!


  3. I see a recurring theme with your work ~ obsessing about your own death.
    As unsettling as it is beautiful, I can’t hide my worry…but I will.

    There’s just this thing about your writing though…


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