Laid to Rest by Chloe Nedved

Sunlight. I feel its warmth spreading across my face. A strong wind picks up loose strands of my hair, sending them flying, tickling my neck. Grass brushes against my bare ankles. I breathe in the crisp ocean air and exhale stale carbon dioxide. My lips taste the faintest hint of salt. The slow, gentle crash of the waves echoes in my ears. The wind continues to howl, pushing away my thoughts. I keep my eyes closed and let my other senses savor the experience.

“Rosie, it’s time.”

His voice is distant, a faint whisper under the wind and waves and sunlight. His hand rests on my shoulder, pulling me out of my trance.

“It’s time to let her go.”

I regain control. My eyes blink open. My head lowers until I see her, cradled in my arms. They threaten to sink, to drop her, but I force them to hold on.

I take a step forward; the wind slaps my face.

I take another step; the waves smash into the cliffs.

I reach the edge; the sun blinds my eyes.

I look at her one final time. A single tear leaves my eye, trails down my cheek, and lands in a perfect circle on her.

I wait until the wind quiets. I take one last breath of crisp ocean air and let her go.

She drifts down to meet the ocean, ashes glinting in the sunlight. I watch as they become one with the waves, swimming in the foam.

“Goodbye, Mom.”