Wednesday, March 08, 2006

First viewing

She looks much better in her cute black suit! Silver haired grandma, petite, well-dressed in life. The first time i saw her was on day 3. She was the one with her head still on. She bothered me for as many hours as the autosopy repair, maybe more. The image of her on the table in the back room. "hey, does the new girl do hair?" Such simple words. Such terror in my head. I still don't know why I looked in that room. Anyway, they dressed her up and showed her to her family in the way that i'm used to seeing the dead. Black suit, white piping along the edging. Her glasses were broken when they brought them in, so I got out a little screwdriver and replaced the screw. It seemed like the least I could do to make up to her the thoughts that ran thru my head about how shruken she was. So I fixed them and was pleased to see how nice they looked on her. Her daughter brought the earrings she always wore with that suit and a watch whose band was so tiny a ten year old would stretch it out. I'll call her Melba, it's not even close to her real name, but I have to call her something. Melba looked much plumper in her picture. It was probably ten years old though. Her right hand had to stay under some of the casket lining, the tissue was too fragile, and apparently it ripped or tore or something more horrid to imagine. I just know her hand was inside a white cloth bag, not really a mitten, more of a jewelry bag. Her watch was at the top, clasping it shut. Then the whole hand was under a bit of lining.
Her family came early in the day, there was crying, laughing, hushed voices, a small great-grandson cooing, lots of aunts and uncles ooo-ing and awe-ing over the baby, anything to give their grief a momentary respite. I'm glad to see how much they loved her. I'm glad to hear their pleasure over how nice she looks now. Even if I'm not the one who did her hair, it still looks good.

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