Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day of the death

I know day of the death were last week, but I don´t know... I wrote something about it and I still want to share with everyone. It's kinda corny and my grammar is not really good, but I tried! So any comment and correction is welcomed!

It was that time of the year again.

Sitting next to her mother, listening to the endless praying of her aunts and grandmother, the little girl is bored. It is no fun at all if the only thing she has to do is to sit in front of a tomb of a person she never met and hear the old stories from her relatives that she already knows, as they always tell the same ones year by year.

It is a hot day and the sun is barely tolerable at midday. The place where her great grandmother was buried is surrounded by old trees that cannot offer enough shadow for everyone.  “Why can’t it be colder?” she asks to herself with frustration, covering her eyes with both hands, “It is supposed to be autumn. And there’re no clouds in the sky. Stupid sun! ”

The pray ends and then one of her aunts kneels down in front of the tomb,  opens the can of soda she was carrying and buries the tip in the soil, just in front of the cross in which the name of great grandma is written. There is no white marble headstone; the tomb is just an elevation in the ground. Simple as it is, the girl still thinks the tomb is kind of pretty today with all the flowers, yellow and purple, covering it. She still wonders how her mother could dislike such cute flowers. Maybe it’s because they are ordinary. After all, mother loves beautiful and exotic things.

The offering is done and now all her family starts to chat. The first topic is, of course, the can of soda standing in front of the cross. According to his aunts, great grandma loved soda the most and in order to get her enjoy again her favorite drink, they bring the can and leave it in her tomb every year. It’s an old story and it always ends with one of her aunts laughing and asking permission to take a sip of soda before leaving the graveyard.

Since everyone is starting to tell jokes and share old memories, the girl realizes she has no longer the obligation of sitting quietly. All her relatives are distracted and she takes the opportunity of walk away. The graveyard is big and she always has the interest of explore it, but still, she doesn’t go too far from where her mother is. After all, she doesn’t want to get lost.

It is difficult to walk around, there are a lot of people and the tombs are too close to each other. She doesn’t want to step over one, mostly because she doesn’t want the people buried down there to get mad at her.
There is now a beautiful tomb in front of her, all white and covered with flowers. It belongs to a man. No… she corrects herself immediately, it is not a man but a boy. The dates engraved in the marble tell her that if that boy was alive, he would be her age. There is something else written above his name and birth and death dates.

“You’ll always live in your hearts”

Though it’s not the first time she comes to the graveyard and explores other tombs, she cannot help feeling sad at reading the epitaph. Death is never fair. Her own parents have said that so many times and she believes so. Despite her sudden sadness, there something that makes her feel relieved. The boy’s tomb is beautifully adorned, meaning her parents have come to visit him. Several years have passed since his death, but his parents still remember him. She believes that that boy, wherever he is now, would be happy to see his tomb covered in flowers.

“That’s what this day is about, isn’t?” She thinks, remembering the explanation of the teacher at school, “Today is not supposed to be a sad day”

Another tomb catches her attention. It’s even bigger that the boy’s but looks old and abandoned. There are no flowers on its vases and there is a big layer of dust covering it. She has seen many tombs like that in the previous years, some of them with their headstones broken. But this one is not broken and, after getting closer to look at the dates, it is not that old, either.

Now, that is really sad. Where are the relatives of this woman? Did they forget about her?

The girl looks around. The contrast between the tombs adorned and those that were forgotten is great. An idea comes to her, and before she evaluates it, she goes to the next tomb which has many flowers on its vases. She whisper apologies for the person that tomb belongs to, and takes three yellow flowers from one vase. She then places those three insignificant flowers over the tomb of the forgotten woman.

The tomb still looks miserable, but the girl feels somewhat satisfied.

Now someone remembers you,” mutters, thinking the woman can hear her and is pleased with her offering.
Now that she has done it once, the girl believes is now her task to look around for more flowers for the abandoned tombs. It’s kind of difficult because the tombs that can donate some of their flowers are still being visited. And surely, people wouldn’t like to see her stealing their flowers to give them to someone else. Still, she manages to put two or three flowers on four more tombs.

She now has taken flowers from the boy’s tomb, that one who would have been her age if he was alive, and she puts over a tomb of a man who died fifty years ago. The headstone is close to break but she still can read the epitaph.

“From his wife and sons who will never forget him”

The voice of her mother calling for her startles her. Her family is leaving the graveyard now.

“What where you doing over there?” her mother asks her as soon as the girl comes to her side.

“Nothing,” the girl answer, taking the hand of her mother as they start to walk to the exit, trying not to step over the tombs.

Her mother doesn’t seem really interested in her daughter affairs, so she no longer asks questions.

Just once, the girl looks back to the place great grandma is. While is true she never met her, as well as the other people she offered flowers, she feels now glad to be able to visit her, and the others, on this day. 


naga said...

interestingly written. i agree that t is important to remember, respect and honor those who passed away, but is it not equally important to respect, care and honor those who r with us while living? i am guilty too by not taking good care of my parents as i am away from them. luv, affection, care has not diminished due to distance, but definitely not doing the best possible. world is complicated, what more can i say?!

Kryz Montenegro said...

De hecho es algo que tambien pasa por mi mente, aprovechar al momento que compartimos con la familia mientras esta en vida.
Otra cosa, siendo tradicion visitar a los difuntos en el 2 de Noviembre no qiere decir que sea el unico dia que se deba hacer.

Lily, me gusto mucho la historia y la ternura que expresa la pequeña a pesar de sentir aburrimiento por ser cotidiana esa celebracion.

Jesús Jiménez Ascencio said...

Lily me gusta mucho la idea de como extrapolas otra forma de disfrutar este día; la parte nostálgica de la historia, me hace reflexionar como una persona pude tener una vida tan normal como otra y dado el momento fallece. Lo curioso es que con el tiempo estas personas son olvidadas, los motivos para esto pueden ser demasiados, lo que me lleva al siguiente punto nuestras acciones siempre repercuten en nuestro presente y futuro y marcan la inmortalidad de cada persona por sus obras, acciones o aportación de cualquier forma a su familia, amigos, conocidos, etc..

El miedo a morir es lo único que tenemos seguro en esta vida y lo cierto es que vivir es ir muriendo cada día, nuestro reloj biológico se activa una vez que nacemos y comienza su marcha hacia el final. Yo en lo personal no le doy mucha importancia a esta fecha pues creo que lo más importante recae en dar lo mejor de nosotros a los seres que servimos, ayudamos y amamos. Nadie muere del todo, cuando se va deja amistad, servicio, bondad, sonrisas y amor con su presencia.