“I really don’t want to be here sis.” Blake pulled at his sister’s sleeve. “Do we have to go inside?”
Amanda looked down and smiled at her little brother, “Yes. We have to go in. It’ll be ok. I’ll be here with you the whole time.”
Blake sniffled in an effort to hold back a tear. “Is she really gone.”
The question caught Amanda off guard. Her words caught in her throat. They were heavy and hard to say. “Yes.” was all she managed to get out right before she pulled him into the funeral home.
When they walked through the funeral home doors, there were pictures of their mom, happy, plastered all throughout the hallways leading into the small chapel. Blake sniffed at the air, trying to capture as much of the scent of flowers as he could. He smelled a familiar and comforting odor. It was the smell of his mother. A woman in the corner was wearing her perfume.
As the two children stand in the door, they scan the room. The room went quiet when they walked in as everyone’s eyes drifted to theirs. They made their way to the front row of the chapel and took their seats.
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” said an unfamiliar voice.
Everyone resumed their conversations. The children looked like a truck had hit them in the chest. Hunched over with a sad look in their eyes. Neither of them wanted to look at their mother.
“Sissy, I don’t want to do this, I hate seeing mommy like this” Blake said as he looked at his sister with tearful eyes.
“Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do because you’ll end up regretting it in the long run. You’ll thank me when you’re older for bringing you. I know it’s tough, but we have each other, and that’s all that matters,” his sister responded with tears streaming down her face.
Blake grabbed his sister’s hand and held it while the pastor started the ceremony. She looked over at him, smiled, then kissed his forehead, “it’s all gonna be okay.”
We are gathered here today to say farewell to Thanet Jo Harper, and commit her into the hands of God. Thanet left behind two wonderful children, Blake and Amanda. Thanet was an amazing mother, sister, and friend. Now let us bow our heads so we can say a prayer for all who may be mourning: Dear Lord, you are the father of all mercies who cares for all your people with an everlasting love. You are the God of all comfort who consoles all those that are suffering the death of a loved one. You are the God of all peace who has promised to pour your perfect peace into the hearts of your children Who are going through the pain and suffering that the loss of a precious loved one brings.
Oh Lord I pray that you would become their strength in this time of loss; their hope in this time of bereavement; their joy in this time of sorrow and their perfect peace in the turmoil that their heart must be facing.
Thank you that the sting of death has been broken forever and the curse of the grave has been destroyed through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ who has broken forever the power of death and hell, for all who trust in the name of the only begotten Son of God
Speak into the hearts of all your children that are mourning at this time and let them not mourn as those that have no hope – but Lord for those that do not yet know you as the saviour who died for them, so that by believing they might have everlasting life – we pray that they will come to know and accept you as their savior and find their perfect rest in you – in Jesus name we pray,
Thank you all for your time, if you haven’t signed the book, please do so on your way out.
Some people stepped outside to chat and smoke a cigarette. She walked past everyone, but could only make out mumbles. Amanda went outside for the air. Her head was filled with what felt like heavy smoke. She tried to keep a straight face, while she made her way to the bench where her brother was sitting. She saw someone try to talk to him, but he just sat there staring at his feet. His shoulders were slouched, his hands folded in his lap. No matter how hard anyone tried, no one could cheer the poor boy up.
“Hey, you wanna talk?” Blake’s sister asks as she walks towards him.
“I don’t know what to say, I just wish I could tell her I loved her one more time,” he said with a crack in his voice.
“I know, but me and you, we are all we have now. We can only count on each other. You have to promise me that no matter what happens we will always be there for each other. Promise me that even when either of us is in our darkest days, we will still tell each other everything and be there for one another to help.” Blake’s sister asked him.
He responded, “I promise sissy.” The siblings hug each other, as tight as they could.
After the service, everyone went back to their aunt’s house for one last dinner in the memory of their mother. Amanda was the last person to leave, along with her grandmother. She and her brother sat on the bench and watched all of the cars fall into line. One by one, bumper to bumper, they all pulled out of the funeral home. Once every car was almost gone, Amanda’s grandmother walked over to the bench where she and her brother were sitting.
“Come on now, we have to go back to the house,” she said.
The children followed her to the car, got in, and shut the door. They sat silent the whole ride back to the house.
At the wake, they had a whole buffet, tables upon tables full of food, all of it homemade. Some of Amanda’s friends had shown up to see how she and her brother were doing.
“Where’s Blake…” Amanda hears as she feels a touch on the back of her arm. It was Charlotte, her best friend, and cousin.
“He locked himself in his room as soon as we got here. He’s refusing to come out and talk to anyone. I think he just needs space right now,” she said to Charlotte.
“I understand that. You want to go up to your room for a bit to get away from everything?” she asked Amanda.
She sighed in relief. “Yes, please distract me for a little bit.
Amanda and Charlotte found themselves in Amanda’s room. Charlotte cracked a window, took out two cigarettes, and handed one of them to her dear friend.
“Do you want to talk about anything?” Charlotte asked.
“No, I just want to finish my cigarette and have your company,” Amanda said with sadness in her eyes. Charlotte moved beside Amanda and hugged her with one arm while she touched the cigarette to her lips with the other.
“Your mom was an amazing woman, Manda. She was taken too soon, but this is only going to make you stronger,” she said with soft eyes.
“I’m just worried about my brother. He’s so young, and he feels nothing.” Amanda replied. Charlotte sits on the bed, takes another drag off her cigarette, and ponders on what she just said.
“I’m sorry I don’t know how it feels to lose a parent, but I just want you to know that I will always be here by your side. Your mom raised you to be a strong woman, and that’s what you have to do,” replied Charlotte after she puffed on her cigarette for a minute.
“Thank you so much, Char, it means a lot to me,” Amanda replied back.