A daughter arranges sympathy cards on the mantle, changing places, angles, trying to make them fit. We’re sorry for your loss. With sympathy. Our thoughts are with you.
Thoughts, words, too many of them printed in store bought colors on grocery aisle cardstock, too many superficial, no matter how heartfelt they were intended to be.
All of them wrong.
There should have been something. Should have been closure.
There should have been a funeral.
Her father had wanted a funeral. He’d given her song requests, told her which relatives to force onto the dance floor, made her promise there would be strawberry pie. It should have been out in the sunshine, should have been healing, should have been together. Instead, his heart had stopped in a stark and lonely hospital, and they had all stayed in their homes, made tearful phone calls, emptied wine bottles by themselves in the dark.