I crouched down and placed the Calla lilies beside his grave. The flowers were a warm amber colour, with a red finish to the end of each small petal. They gave a vivid glow contrasting by the dull stone that sat on the dry, crumbling soil ; the sunset ombre colours popped. It didn’t feel right, none of my life felt right since my brother passed away. I stepped back from the cheap tombstone and stared to the distance, then up to the sky.
“Mummy, is that uncle Robert?” Aria pointed up at the sky and smiled. She knew that he was gone...I couldn’t bear it. I raised my frown until it became a smile, however with an obvious tear slowly running down my cheek.
“Yes honey” I wiped the doplet off my face and looked up with her “He is watching down from the clouds, it’s called heaven…...see, he is looking at us now. Give him a wave Aria” I moved my hand in the air, wishing for him to really be there, I needed him to really be looking down on us. I clutched her hand and started to pull away from the grave.
“We need to go home now dear.”
Aria paused and gave an emotional look at the sky and looked back at me. She stared up at the grey, foggy haze and tilted her head slightly, searching for her beloved uncle. We looked down and slowly jaunted down the road to the car.
I pulled on the car door harshly, trembling as I started to lift her inside the backseat of the car.
“Mummy?” She asked, “Why did uncle go up there?” the 7 year old pointed up and gazed through the top window of the car. I began to speak, however paused before the first word drifted away from my mouth: I can’t say the real truth...but I can’t lie to her either, whatever way I choose to go, she will be heartbroken…
“H-his guardian angels wanted him back home, poppet. They decided that he was too great to live on earth, so they took him to heaven instead. He didn’t want to go, but he left a note for us and grandma” She looked at me mesmerized but in a mild state of confusion. Aria sunk in her seat and looked forward.
“Do I have guardian angel mummy?” she stared “I like angels, they wear fancy white dresses” I chuckled to myself before thinking what to say in response. Again, what am I meant to say? I couldn’t bring up words to tell her, but I can’t lie to her...that was on the edge but now the fibs are getting crazy.
“Yes of course you do sweetheart” I hugged her and clicked her seatbelt in place before entering the front, drivers seat a row in front. Please no more questions, I thought. This feels terrible to say, I thought. I am outright lying to both myself and my own daughter-
“Can I go to heaven and see uncle Robert?”
I immediately started snuffled into my over sized, dark hoodie and turned back to see her looking down at herself. Something was wrong.
“Honey, you are staying right here, uncle Robert was hurting terribly.” I looked at myself in the small car mirror and saw the black smudges running down my eyes. I didn’t hold it together...I just couldn’t smile in such a saddening world. I began to reverse silently and speed away, on the edge of tears
“But mum, I hurt too...” and that’s when she unclipped her seat belt and opened the car door one final time...she was gone.