I wore black.

I wore black eyeliner to a funeral.

Possibly, with every feathered swipe across each lid I was testing my emotional threshold.

Just daring myself to shed a tear.

After all, it wasn’t my Grandmother who had died.

It wasn’t my family grieving a lost loved one.

I was there as support. A tree to lean on.

I didn’t go to my Grandmother’s funeral.

I was 6,677 miles away in Seoul.

She died just three weeks before I was set to return home.

I missed my Grandmother’s funeral.

But there, at this funeral for the Grandmother that wasn’t mine

I wept.

As the casket closed, and the processional walked on to the sounds of a bagpipe

I thought of my family.

My dad, my aunts, and uncles and the moments before my Grandmother’s casket was closed in the church I grew up in.

Were there bagpipes?

I am not a religious person.

But priests- priests are storytellers, and I do believe in stories.

The weavers of the spoken word- shared from their pulpit.

I heard a lovely story of a Grandmother very much like my Grandmother.

I wondered, what story did our priest share that day?

And for the first time in 16 months I wept out of sadness and not anger.

Today I mourned my Grandmother.

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