TITLE: Emma Undone
If the funeral were taking place in one of my Mom's novels, then it would be winter and it would be raining. The sky would be overcast, and there would be the distant rumble of thunder as the casket was lowered into the ground. The weather can't always match the occasion, though. Today the sky was a blinding blue, and in the manicured graveyard there was no escape from the Maryland sun.
My black dress grew damp, and my feet, enclosed in unaccustomed heels, were expanding by the second. I glanced at Mom, standing ramrod straight beside me, dressed in defiant yellow and movie star sunglasses. Despite makeup, her face was pale. Her bloodless lips were clamped together in the expression she had worn for the last two days, ever since she had walked into our newly rented apartment and announced, "Pack everything up, we're going home, your Grandfather died."
Beyond her stood my Uncle Greg. He was dressed in a sober black suit, his left arm around his daughter, Lilly. She was the only family member crying. Tears gently trickled down her face, in no way spoiling the loveliness of her features. If I had cried it would have been ugly, and my tears would have taken half my makeup with them, leaving me red eyed and puffy faced. I felt no urge to cry, though. A strange detachment had settled on me.