He was a civil engineer; his house overlooked the entire city. Bears would come down and ruin his hedge.

“we had everything.”

“now my life is nothing. everything good in my life passed.”

I attended my first funeral at 19. I’d known death from afar; I wasn’t desensitised from it, but I managed to keep it at a distance.

Today I stared it dead in the face.

Uncle. Cause of death, leukaemia, AML. Father of two. In his 30’s. Died suddenly but painlessly.

In a room full of crying people, a dead body in an open casket, and tissues passed all around, I heard a lot from his grieving wife.

“In the past year, he would just beg me to talk to him. Talk to him about our future, the things we would do, the places we would go, the new yard we would build.”

“I’ll hold his hand. It was what he always wanted me to do.”

“When we learnt, he was sad that we would struggle; emotionally but also economically. I told him that we have a house, a car, a wardrobe full of clothes. Food would be given to us. Financial difficulties wouldn’t be our struggle.”

“My life is gone. It’s over. He fought like a lion. He’s gone.”

It’s not the picture of a widowed wife talking to her dead husband lying lifelessly in a casket that brought the tears.

It was the sight of her talking to his picture.

And it was her despair at her realisation that she’d forgotten to tell them not to shave him.

Δ. Θ.


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