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  • Sonal

Hello from the Other Side




Death. Talk about all that’s morbid! Do you know how it feels to be dead? Of course, you don’t. You are still alive. I’m the dead person here. Now, coming back to how it feels like being dead. Physically, not much. Well, you do feel various degrees of pain based on how you die. Mentally, you might feel a bit sad if you died before you were actually supposed to. Nobody wants a short-lived life, after all.

I died 3 days ago. I had slit my wrist. My initial plan was to slash it 23 times, just to be sure that I can’t be fixed again, but (un) fortunately, my body fell through by the 7th slash. My dog found me lying in a pool of blood in the corner of the kitchen. Kept barking at and dragging me, but I was gone by then. Mom and Dad came in several hours later, Mom screamed her lungs out, Dad, well, he just stared hard with his usual expressionless, pallid eyes. I’m doubtful about whether he felt anything or not.

Today is my funeral. It’s funny, and weird, seeing your own self in a casket, all pasty and stiff and cold. I have had my fair share of funeral attendances, but attending my own funeral, as a soul or spirit or ghost or whatever the shit it is that’s stuck in the netherworld, feels, well, quite bizarre.

The funeral is an open casket viewing, and Mom made sure that the funeral home staff did their best to make me look pretty. I find it quite hilarious, the amount of time and energy and effort invested in making a corpse look pretty. I have been dressed in the same yellow dress that I wore to prom, and my face is drowned in all sorts of make-up, both of which I hate. My lifeless green eyes are staring at the ceiling of the hall where my casket is kept for viewing. There are roses all over the frigging place, and had I been alive, I’d be on a sneezing spree almost immediately. Damn! Did my folks know me at all? Oh! Mom and Dad got into a fight this morning while blaming each other for my death, Dad was almost on the verge of throwing a vase at Mom, but stopped when he saw Mrs Sully, our neighbor, come into the room to help Mom with the funeral. When you are alive, you just ignore events like this. But turns out when you are dead and roaming around as a spirit, you can’t ignore or un-see these goddamned things.

It’s 11.00 AM, time for the funeral to begin. It’s raining, and I am almost sure my Grandma will come up with some superstition related to it. I can spot a lot of familiar faces coming in, and some who I have no idea about. Mom has been sobbing like someone left the faucet in the kitchen open. Dad’s trying his best to put up a facade and look a bit more emotional and concerned. Honest to God, I could never figure that man out in my entire 17 years of existence.

My best friend, Eli, was one of the first people to arrive. She’s still in denial, and she’s been constantly saying how she’s so sorry to not have been able to be by my side when I needed her. You’re a nice person, El. But guess what? You’ve been forever been busy in your own world to notice anyone or anything else. So apologizing when I’m dead doesn’t turn back things, you know? And why is Meg here? She legit spent her entire life defaming me in every possible way. Bitch is fake-crying, and Mom thinks she was close to me. Come on, Mom! I have told you about Meg a gazillion times, were you that preoccupied to never have listened to what I talked to you? Hugh is at the funeral too. We broke up a year ago, but I still loved him, and seeing him today, even as a spirit makes my non-existent heart flutter. If only I could kiss him for one last time! He has been standing over my casket for close to 10 minutes, staring at me, processing the fact that I’m gone for good and fighting hard to stop tears from flowing.

Then comes in a batch of uncles, aunts and cousins, some of whom I haven’t seen since the Boston Tea Party. A quarter of them are genuinely sorry for my demise; the rest of the lot are just showering the funeral with crocodile tears for no apparent reason. It is annoying, but I must admit, it’s also a bit funny, when people try to fake feelings or emotions. Why are you trying so hard? I won’t judge you, I’m dead anyway. And here come some more people who I have never met or heard of ever. I assume they are my parents’ co-workers. It’s barely an hour into the funeral, and I can already see my cousin Matt making out with one of the guests’ daughters. Like I said, when you’re dead, you can’t ignore or un-see things, and right now, I’m way too grossed out by what I’m seeing. Goddammit, Matt, have some fucking respect for the dead! And to top it off, there’s a bunch of kids running around the room like a troop of baboons. Why do people bring kids to events? There’s an option called “Baby Sitter”, they could avail that! Undoubtedly, one of these hooligans is going to knock down my casket before long.

The musicians are playing the acoustic versions of Bon Jovi. At least something’s going the right way here. The guitar is peaceful, and the guitarist is cute. If only I were alive! But this wouldn’t be happening had I been alive. Such situational dilemmas! Someone’s requesting the band to play Rascal Flatts. Hey, numbnuts! You’re at a funeral, not your prom. What on earth are you requesting a change of songs for?! It’s half past one now, and time for the eulogy. The priest is saying some cliche speech that he probably uses in every funeral. Creativity, mate? And then Mom comes over to the podium for the eulogy. From everything that she is reading out from her paper, I can bet on my dead ass that she isn’t the one who has written it. Of course, she never had the time to spend with me when I was alive to be able to think of memories to speak about in a eulogy. It’s got to be her assistant who has written it down for her. Oh, the lies filled in it! I love you, Mom. I just wish you were there to love me back when I was around you.

Now that the eulogy is over, everyone is heading towards the graveyard. My coffin is being lowered into the ground, into the not-so-skillfully dug out pit. It’s a good thing I am not claustrophobic, else, even my spirit would have fainted. It’s still raining. I think I heard Grandma say earlier that it’s good when it rains during a funeral, the dead goes to heaven. Let’s see how that works out, Gran.

I can tell from the faces of most people that they are pretty psyched about the reception. No amount of tears can hide the fact that you are hungry, or that you love freeloading on food. Well, I’d be hungry too, if I were them. I wonder if I have the authority to possess someone and get a bite of those sinful brownies that I spotted. Sigh. At least no one’s complaining about the food, that’s some real decency right there.

3 PM, and it’s a wrap. People are gradually clearing out after consoling my parents for one last time. All those faces never to be seen again. I wonder why Mr Patrick didn’t come, though. He’s Dad’s business partner, so I’m pretty sure he’d have received an invite to the funeral. After all these months of sexual abuse and rapes, the least he could have done was to pay one last visit to the person who died because of him. Maybe he found another girl to play with, I guess.

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