I've only been to one funeral in my life. It was my grandmother's and I was nine years old.
I've always thought it was odd the things I remember, and the things I don't from my childhood. I remember being shoved outside in the blistering heat every day when the nurse stopped by. I thought it was wholly unfair to be outside just because my grandma needed quiet. I could be quiet, but they wouldn't hear any of it.
Someone finally told me that the hospice nurse was stopping by to help my grandma let go and pass on.
I remember watching my aunt rush out of the house duing one of these exiles, tears running down my face. No one needed to say anything, because we knew. There was a breeze during that moment, that had not been present our entire stay in Colorado Springs.
There were no tears on my part. I could even remember feeling confused; why was everyone so sad, and chain smoking when all the wanted was for her to finally be at peace, and knowing that cigarrettes was what started her health problems in the first place.
We sat in a church. It was possibly the first time I had ever been in a church. It was big, with a balcony above and stained glass windows. Everyone was crying again. I felt broken that I couldn't work up the tears. What could be worse than my grandma dying? But the tears wouldn't come. I watched. I wanted to take in every second of it, hopeful that I would remember every detail until my own death.
I don't remember the details.
I don't remember anything of what the preacher said, of what family memebrs said of her. I don't know what we did after. I imagine we must have gathered at my aunts house, and had some sort of pot luck. I don't remember if there was a green bean casserole. I do remember watching family members smoking and thinking to myself, "I could pick up a cigarette right now, and do it right the first time, thanks to the studying I've done these last weeks." I didn't of course. Cigarettes were bad. They killed my grandma.
I remember days later being at a gas station miles from The Springs, possibly not even in Colorado, and seeing my grandma's car. Same interior, same exterior. Same white hair sitting behind the wheel.