The sign in sheet is empty.
We are the first one here.
My brother signs,
and his scribble is barely legible.
I remember he's too young
to understand any of this.

How I wish to be that young.
I would not feel this gnawing in my chest,
as if the hole she left in my heart
is sucking in all the happiness.

I cry every night as I remember-
the happy times, the joy,
then the sickness, and the goodbye.

I remember the last hug.
I went in for another and I'm so glad I did.

Every night I called,
except the night she left.

Halloween.
I was out having fun as
my grandma took her final breaths.

The guilt gnaws at my heart as well,
leaving me empty.

How am I supposed to face her,
knowing her eyes will never open?

My dad guides me.
I see her face.

How is it she looks better dead than alive?

Full of life that will never belong to her,
her cheeks are flushed.
Her hands are clasped at her sides.
I touch them and they're so, so cold.

People come and I'm supposed to
share the sorrow with my family,
to make it easier to bear.

But they're all dealing with their own pain
So why should I burden them more?

I stay silent.
I can't look at her anymore without tearing up

Peaceful, beautiful, serene;
the words are thrown all around,
as if the words will chase away the loss in the room.

The sorrow is just on the edge.
People are trying not to cry.
If I wasn't so young, they would be bawling.
I know I am on the inside

We are told to leave
by the people in charge.
I am relieved.

I can't hold it in anymore.
My bed has tear stains on it.

I smudge them off,
still trying to hide my feelings.
My mom and dad didn't suspect anything.
I'm called strong by the priest.

If only he knew how weak I was on the inside.

The funeral wasn't as bad as the viewing.
At least this time,
I can pretend everything is all right.

That's something I'm good at.
We leave before the coffin is lowered.

Still I cry sometimes.
It's not as bad as it used to be.
At least, the pretending isn't.