In Memory Of: Goodbye, Beautiful

To my friend, who died not 48 hours ago

Looking at the sea, she watches the sun set into water. Long shadows stretch over the ground and reach across the sand like fingers. So many things these shadows have touched.

Wind tugs at her hair. She brushes strands from her face, but her fingers crumble apart. Little flakes of her dead flesh drift away as the breeze carries them into the water.

“So, then.” She smiles, both beautiful and sad. “This is it.”

Who knew her time would be so short? Only 23 years. She looks back at the long sunset-cast shadows as her wrists crumble away, her toes too. Ah, she sees such life behind her. Perhaps her time was short, but memories made it brilliant and bright, full of colors and laughter. Regrets do creep into her mind, dream unfulfilled, years unseen, but she embraces what she had and did.

Up to her elbows now death has claimed her. The sobs of those she’s left behind carry in the wind that carries her away. Eyes closed, a tear slips free. Yes, she thinks, there is another thing I regret to leave behind. Such a large family she had! So many brothers and sisters . . .

“And I the oldest too” she sighs. “What will they do with me gone?”

Still staring behind her, her arms and legs have fallen away. She floats now, more spirit than flesh, her hair wavying around her like a halo. She sees the glass lightening has made in the sand. Each moment of her life that stuck another’s solidified her in both hearts. Yes, she left friends and family now, but they will cling to those share moments, when two lives touch and change each other.

There will be no body for her. The wind has spirited it away. Her soul yet lingers, watching. She turns around and lets go. A bright light. Her soul winks away to those pearly gates.

Goodbye, beautiful.

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