Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Charlie's Farewell.


After the funeral I drove down the road to the supermarket: I guess life has to go on and anyhow, I needed some yoghurt.

I wasn’t the only one.

We saw Charley’s name on the front cover of the newspapers that were stacked next to the cash till, alongside another word: Tragic.

Why does it have to be like this; he wasn’t even nineteen?

He had just finished school and was at the beach celebrating.

Having fun.

In every photo at the crematorium his smile made each of us smile.

Smile as we wept; and there were a lot of us.

His younger brother was there; at the crematorium but at the beach too.

He had tried to save him.

His friends had tried too.

The hospital had done what they could, but something said that Charley’s time was done; before it had really begun.

I guess that could be the definition of tragic, one of them.

Charley’s mum was smiling, that’s maybe where Charley got his smile from, but his dad was not.

They had invited me to their wedding; it doesn’t seem that long ago but now it’s a lifetime.

You shouldn’t have to bury your children; that might be another definition of tragic.

When the casket descended his mother asked us all to clap as strongly as we could.

Charley’s dad couldn’t watch.

But Charley was smiling when he heard that applause.

  formerly published in The Archives.

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