I drove in the hearse, one hand on my nephew’s coffin. all wrapped up in hessian , masking tape slashed across the top and bottom, black capitals His Name with it’s missing T. he hated the missing t, even that made him different.
J, Driver of hearse and picker upper of me and my nephew from the airport to take his body home,. a grey hearse. two suitcases, one His, I had packed a few days before, one mine, nudged next to the coffin that held Him
finally on the open road. looking for signs , they’re everywhere.
a rainbow, rays breaking through clouds .
driver says he had met my nephew once, they’re similar ages. 23. he’d wanted to do the funeral , coz he’d liked Him..
once you’ve seen someone dress a dead person you’ll always know how to do it. he tells me. shower, wash their hair . ‘we like to keep the bodies natural looking so we don’t do make up’ he says. I stare out the window. We’re getting closer to home. I ask if he has any music .
only a cd with one song he says: it’s time to say goodbye. He loved music, my nephew, I ask j to rather turn on the radio. david bowies heroes starts playing. we put the sound high up, “we can be heroes for just one day” blaring from the grey hearse, my hand on my nephew’s casket, and as we drive into our old hometown, the rain starts falling hard. I still haven’t cried.
in my mind He is five years old and He’s holding my hand, dimple smile and ruby red lips, he’s looking up at me with cheeky eyes, and I’m smiling back at him.
It’s just that this time
I am never going to let go of that hand….
RIP my hero, my nephew xxx