Madison Aument

Grasping for a Eulogy

I was famished and depleted
and a little high from altitude sickness,
(I was in the woods, I was told nature would help)
when I streamed your funeral,
on my tiny phone screen
(not fitting for a funeral).

Your mother’s choice for an Evangelical funeral
in a mega-church (Dad hates mega-churches)
when I only ever knew you as Jewish
(I remember you singing Hava Nagila to me)
will always evade me.

I was so afraid
of the consequences of reaching out,
so I waited and waited and waited.
I waited too long. (The friend request is still pending)

I don’t know where your ashes are.
The last picture I saw of you,
scares me
(because you are as spindly as a twig,
but you just had a baby.)

Hannah called me after she left my house
(It was midnight, I thought she left something.)
“Lauren died.”
(Tragedy is always delivered over the phone these days)
“What?” “She’s dead.”
(I didn’t ask how. I didn’t need to.)

Dad hates your mom,
(Fairly- she is cruel)
I used to cower at the sight of your mom,
in the back seat of Dad’s car
on the days he would pick you up.
(Even now I have nightmares of her as a witch.)

She didn’t even tell Dad,
that you died.
(Your ex-boyfriend called him.)

Did it feel like the other times?
(When you overdosed)
Narcan would’ve saved you again
(Had you not been alone.)

I have never seen our dad
look as tired as he did,
the days after.
(Remember how much trouble I had not saying “my dad”? “He’s OUR dad”.”)
I know he is relieved,
 you don’t suffer anymore.

But I wish you would give me a sign,
that you’re somewhere floating in space,
(Like our grandmother would say)
sometimes when I think of you,
(When I’m alone)
the curtains stir
and I wonder if it’s you,
(But then I see the window is opened.)