I stand silent, the gush of wind eerie on the back of my neck. The only sound. I felt stronger than most, like the days events had given me the proof that I needed to ensure that I was able to carry on, that I was able to whisper 'goodnight grandpa' one last time. I only wish that he'd whisper back. My eyes were damp, but not tearful, I vowed that I would not cry. My mother stood next to me, straight as a soldier and just as determined. Her arm hugging my sister, though her eyes were swollen and red, a tear gracefully drifting down her cheek. My father behind me, most likely in charge of making sure that I was alright. Though I obviously wasn't, none of us were. My mother had now lost both of her parents, and me and my sister had only one grandparent figure left, but she was too far away to even bother a phone call. Grandpa Bill was the one that told us the stories, the fantasy that we needed to make reality seem true.
After the service we all gather around the church, people honoring my grandpa with their kind words and then retiring back to their cars. They returned home that day, but we didn't, and I never truly ever did.
We drove straight to the funeral parlor, collecting his ashes, just four days later. Me glad to be out of my gloomy black dress, and back into my casual jeans. It didn't seem to matter, it was like the sense of it all followed me, wherever I went, whatever I wore. Later that afternoon I found myself on the edge of a local cliff, grassy, and built of firm rock, looking over the sea, and soaring high above the beach. My family paying their respects and my mothers shaky hands grasping a large pot container. My father offers to take it but she shakes her head, removing the lid.
It releases a slight cloud of musty ash, the breeze taking it in its icy embrace. The airless grey below, reaching as far as the eye could see, the waves colliding against the rocks, as numbed and as silent in the background, as the ear could hear. Before I know it a colourless vapor has clotted the sky. Grandpa was free, but he always had been, anyway. I suppose the only reason that we were allowed to attend the funeral was because we were so close to him, otherwise I wouldn't believe that an almost ninety year old was free. I close my eyes, and do what came after our goodnight's...the dreaming.