March 18th 2013
I wish I could’ve said something but I didn’t
I remember getting out of the car on the morning of Mac’s funeral. The sky was clearing with the sunlight peering through the clouds, the ground still damp from the early morning showers. I slammed my door shut, taking in a deep breath after being in my grandmother’s car for an hour and a half. Her car always smelt of cigarettes and plastic, like the new car smell never went away, but just mixed with the smell of ash and old newspapers. My grandmother popped the trunk and handed my sister, my mother, my nana and I shawls. Nervous and confused I struggled to wrap the beautiful fabric around my hair as a Hijab, or Indian head dress. At Sikh Indian funerals women have to cover their heads, and wear light colored fabrics as opposed to wearing darker colored clothing. My grandmother swept my hair from the corners of my face and placed the shawl on my head, wrapping it around my complection and laying it beautifully on my shoulders. “Sandeep gave these to me after she got back from India” she bragged “they are handmade, aren’t they gorgeous”. I gave her a quick nod, and we started walking to the temple. As the doors to the building swung open I was immediately overwhelmed with the loud sound of crying. I quickly glanced over the pews looking for a familiar face, and then took a seat next to my cousin Alexus. My mother and sister followed and took up the seats on the pew to my left. Dejected, we sat waiting for the ceremony to begin. I didn’t know what to expect. Sitting silent in my seat I listened. On the floor at the front of the church lay Sandeep, Mac’s young thirty three year old wife of ten years. She knelled there on her hands and knees draped in white garments, screaming at the top of her lungs. No one said a word. Mac’s mother, sisters, and children’s arms and faces concealed in the chests of his...
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