My mother was greatly loved. She had a soul as pure as spring water and her smile could melt the iciest heart. I was told I look just like her when she was young, but when I studied her I knew I was missing something. My mother had an aura, bright and happy. She never asked for anything and stood in the shadows of life, content. It was this that added to her beauty: her contentment and selflessness. One so bright should have lived a long and happy life, but it was not to be so. On the day of her funeral even the sky was mourning, weeping, the sun hiding behind clouds of sorrow. My father and I stood side to side, neither one of us acknowledging the other. The rain was relentless and I stood, under the canopy, as the preacher cleared his throat. In death my mother seemed more at peace than she had ever been and in a way I am grateful that her burden was lifted. Her spirit was already broken, what else could the world have taken from her but her life? My father is stiff beside me, his gray eyes trained fiercely on the preacher. His dark hair blown out of it's usual careful tidiness, he looks smaller and weaker than I have seen him since my sister, Emily, died two weeks after being born three years ago. An early death just seems to run in the family, carrying it's curse throughout the weak-willed women. I inherited my father's determination, so there is no doubt I will live a long, fulfilled life. The tears are pooling in my eyes, but I don't want to seem weak. I let the wind whip them away. Almost the entire town is here for my mother's funeral and my family stands, separate from the rest, next to the hole in which our beloved was laid to rest. I'm sure that Alistair and his family are there in the crowd, but I fear looking up and cracking, showing everyone my weakness. I tune out the preacher's speech. I tune out the sobbing women in the crowd. I tune out my father asking if I want to say goodbye before leaving. I tune out condolences. I tune out everything except my mother's voice in my memory, saying,
"You're all right, dear. You'll be fine. We all will."