It has taken me a long time to summon the courage to write this post. Out of all of the things that I have written, this has been the most difficult. It’s been six weeks since I first hoped to put pen to paper, yet I ‘m still struggling with the first few lines.
Grief is a funny thing. It’s like the last 30 seconds of the snooze on your alarm. You feel like you are just drifting off, just getting back to normal and then that ringing starts again, gradually getting louder and louder. Then you have got a decision to make, to turn off the alarm or hit the snooze button again. I feel like it is finally time to get up.
It took 68 minutes from the house to the edge of the marina. It was a private dock, and a beautiful day, so the mast poles of the various boats were glistening in union in the noonday sun. But it didn’t feel like a beautiful day, it just felt fitting. We waited on a bench overlooking the pier, as the occasional first mate would saunter up the wooden beams towards us, flashing a smile and a wave. All we could manage was a nod of acknowledgement. It was time to get up.
The boat was very well furnished, the husband and wife were extremely pleasant, asking us politely to remove our shoes before setting foot on their rugged carpet. We sat down around the pull out table, waiting patiently for the motors beneath our feet to start whirring and humming. They eventually did. All the while, my eyes never left the blue rectangular box that stood in isolation on the desk in front of us. Mother decided it would be good to start the prayers and we sung them vigorously, if nothing to kill the deafening silence.
The wife came down asking which of us were looking to climb onto the deck. We shakily volunteered as she tied the rope around our waist, and we made our way to the edge of the water. We opened the box and bit by bit, we poured the ashes of my grandmother into the deep waters. They slowly floated and then sunk out of sight. As was the custom, we then placed the petals of several baby pink blooms onto the surface and watched as they bobbed slowly, further and further towards the point of horizon. It was a pretty sight, but we took no pictures.
The pier came back into view and we made the necessary small talk before moving back towards home. The serenity of the pier was as we had left it. The waves did not stop moving and the boats stayed still. The 68 minute journey home was one of relief, but poignant. I didn’t say much. I brought a book that I had no heart to read. If anything, I was busy writing this post in my head over and over again. Except 68 minutes was not enough. It was no way near enough. But now the clock can finally stop.