She pinched off a piece of the tiny banana between the tips of her fingers and thumb. Sun-ripened and sugary-sweet, it was harvested earlier that morning from one of the many banana plants in her sprawling, verdant, over-planted garden. She mashed it meticulously, breaking up large chunks so there would be no choking hazard. Then she grabbed the ‘baby’, pried open his mouth, and shoved banana inside, scraping her fingers along his teeth to get every last scrap. She tilted his chin up and massaged his throat–there would be no spitting out of pre-triturated banana, no rejection of her love.
Wafer thin slices of potato dive from the mandolin, cascading into the hot oil with a raucous sizzle. My father brushes past my left shoulder. I’ve learned not to look, not to ricochet my head around searching for signs of him. He’s not there.
CAUTION: This story contains references to domestic violence and descriptions of childhood emotional abuse.
I stood at the podium looking out at the sea of faces, unfamiliar and familiar, the funeral director’s words still ringing in my ears. It’s okay to be raw and honest.There’s no right way to grieve. They’re just looking for the comfort of a shared experience from you.