The Day After...
My Grandma’s life
by Lavinia Lascaris, Athens
I rushed back to my grandma’s house. Everyone was already there; my mom, my aunt, my cousins, my siblings. And my grandma, lying on her bed, no longer with us. Our family dramas had temporarily subsided, surrendering to the situation at hand. Each of us was experiencing it in an exclusive way, only sometimes overlapping with another’s equally vulnerable and unstable mental state. Mine went from uncontrollably sobbing on the bathroom floor to spastically laughing at my brother’s unintended sexual pun about my grandma. My sister (as always) followed my train of thought and joined my laughing fit, which was amplified by my brother’s perplexed expression at having missed the double-entendre of his own remark. We had to explain it to him, and by then the rest of the family was laughing too, those of us who were sitting on the bed, making it (and grandma) bounce a little.
Meanwhile, the Pale Orc’s identical twin from the funeral services was arranging my grandma’s transportation to the mortuary. Seeing us all together, laughing as we were, he was touched by our ability to bring humor into the scene and offered to take a picture of us. My mom, at the sheer thought of having a camera pointed at her, was delighted by the idea. I was not; and neither were my siblings. We stopped laughing, my mother rearranged her hair, the Pale Orc found a camera. I felt uncomfortable, my body froze while I failed at finding an adequate spot to look at. How does one pose for a photo with their dead grandma in the background? My mother did not quail; she smiled and posed as if behind her was not her mother but the Taj Mahal. Thus was commemorated my grandma’s passing, though I have never seen that photograph. In the next room, my grandpa was staring at the ceiling. Semiconscious, unaware of everything, he had granted my grandma her unrealistic request.