Meredith Grant

Meredith Grant
Meredith Grant is an emerging Regional Victorian writer. She has been shortlisted for the Trudy Graham-Julie Lewis Lit. Awards for Prose, runner-up for the FAW Qld. Soapbox Article competition and most recently been awarded runner-up in the Writers Victoria Regional Members Writing Competition. She has also contributed to on-line Journals and had articles and personal memoirs published on-line. She studied Professional Writing and Editing at Ballarat University and has a strong focus on writing non-fiction. Her goal is to become a freelance writer where her contributions will cover her experience and knowledge on topics that sit close to her heart, including Australia's homeless epidemic, teenage depression and Australian adoption matters. She is currently working on her full length memoir she hopes to have published, until then her short memoir works are being submitted to various opportunities and competitions which she hopes will help raise her writing profile.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Day 5 - Dear Carmel - I remember the funeral...

Today's topic is one close to my heart; everyone I would imagine must have a funeral that resonates with them regardless how heartfelt it must be.  This next addition to my memory journal is a poignant part of my life that could never be forgotten.  It is an event that shaped my adolescence, it changed things dramatically within our family then and forever.

Dear Carmel,

  I remember the funeral, it was my brother Craig's.  He died way to soon, joining the growing statistics of a nation's road toll.  I remember how unexpected it must have been, how it tore my mother's heart right out from under her ribs, no warning, no nothing.  As for my father, his soul was robbed in vein, hopeful it would reach and protect his little boy who was now lost forever.  And for me, well my life became empty, insignificant, guilt creeping through every artery, reminding me I have a future and he doesn't.
  At eighteen-years of age Craig had lost his life, the autopsy proved a ruptured spleen to be the cause, the cause for turning our families life into sudden turmoil, the cause for sending my parents into a dark place they cannot explain, that I don't understand, where they never return the same again.  My parents have lost their only son, and me an only brother; instantly transforming me into an only child.
  I couldn't fully appreciate the preparations that went into organising a funeral, or how to choose an appropriate song to mark eighteen-years of life taken away too soon, how could I was still just a kid.  I didn't know how or why my parent's chose the song Bridge over troubled waters, by Simon and Garfunkel.  I didn't know why they chose such a  gut wrenching tribute for someone's life, and how every time that tune, those words  'I will lay me down, were played, raised a depth of despair that taught a sixteen-year old how to grieve.
  Inside the church, away from the playful heat of the sun, was a long walk past endless rows of empty pews leading to the open coffin.  Standing alongside the coffin, alongside my brother for the last time, my mother stood opposite me, sobbing, shrinking.  We both stared into a silk-lined casket that hugged Craig's sleepy body.  He wore a scar above his eyebrow, his lips desperate for a lick from a chapstick; the result of a Noosa summer.  I wanted to give him one last kiss goodbye but the force of fear kept me from doing so.  I will always regret submitting to that fear. 
  I remember standing at the graveside as Craig's casket was intrusted into the dry cavity of the ground we surrounded.  My father pulled at me angrily, bringing me closer to the edge, too close, did he wish it was me being lowered instead, like I wished it was?  I was drained, my life had been sucked out and spat out; irretrievable. 


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