Wow, I expected more people to be here. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a packed building, but I was hoping for more of a sea of people to say their final goodbyes to me. I know this might sound odd, but I wish I got to plan my funeral before I kicked the bucket. I would’ve had everyone wearing whatever they wanted, and it would have been more of a party than, well, a funeral. Instead, everyone’s wearing black and down in the dumps. I also wish I could have died a better way instead of literally kicking a bucket, tripping down a grassy hill into oncoming traffic but at least it was funny, I guess. I just hope I contributed to something of real worth. Let’s see who came to the celebration of my demise. Obviously, mom, dad, and the siblings are here.
“Mommy, when is Jake coming home?” asked Suzy.
“Suzy, Daryl’s not coming back. I know you don’t understand now but you will later,” said John.
Suzy was my little sister. She couldn’t grasp the concept of me being gone forever. I can’t really blame her because I can’t really grasp it either. Then there was my older brother John. He was in the military, so I barely got to see him. I thought that he would be stone faced as he’s probably used to seeing a dead body, but I could see that even he was shedding a tear.
“I’m sorry guys, I just wanted to see how far I could kick that bucket,” I said.
“Do you feel that, Honey? I can feel him watching over us from above,” said Mom
“Yeah, it’s because I’m literally above you,” I said.
I don’t think they can hear me. I reach for the top of Suzy’s head, but my hand goes right through it. Suzy shuttles and looks around confused. This is kind of awesome. I’m like a superhero or something. I wonder how high I can float in the air. I try to ascend but it’s a tiring process.
“How am I out of breath when I don’t have a breath to give?” I thought.
I get up to about seven feet in the air. I try to fly like a superhero, but I am unable to do so. The best I can do is pretend that I am swimming in a pool. While I’m not going fast, I’m going non the less. I spot my grandparents. Judging from their constant wobbling and the fact that they were pale as ghosts, I’ll probably be seeing them soon. I continue to swim throughout the building and that’s when I see them. My best friends, Todd, Copper, Kenny and Brett. This is hard for me to watch because they were with me right before I died and I’m sure that they hold themselves responsible. I slowly floated a bit closer, and I expected to see sad faces, but I saw the opposite. Now they weren’t laughing it up like a pack of hyenas, but they were just exchanging stories that they had with each other. Now this is what I’m talking about. I’d rather see people remember the fun-loving goofball that I was and have a good time. I know that’s a lot to ask someone that just lost a person they care about, but it is my funeral, and you can’t spell funeral without fun. It was good to see my friends one last time. Let’s see who else is here. I float around like a jellyfish for a while and that’s when I spot her. Stacy Reynolds. I’ve known her longer than anyone that wasn’t related to me. We talked almost every day. My friends always joked saying that Stacy and I will tie the knot and have a million kids. I always thought that there was something between us. I float to her.
“Hey Stacy, I know you can’t hear me, but I always wanted to tell you that I——can’t do this” I said.
I know that she can’t hear me but that’s just it. What’s the point in confessing my feelings to Stacy if she can’t even here me. This is probably the second regret I’ve ever had next to kicking that damn bucket. I just can’t be around her. It’ll just remind of one of my failures. I’m not really having fun at this funeral. I continue to float around a bit and see aunts, uncles, cousins and even a dog. I guess I feel a little better. People are sharing stories of me, some of them happy and some of them sad. Then my parents walk up to the front of the building.
“I just want to say how glad I am that all of you are here to celebrate the life of our sweet Jake. We loved him more than anything and he was a great son. We are so proud of the man you were Jake,” said Dad.
“We love you and miss you so much Jake. We will never stop loving you and we will always be proud of you,” said Mom.
If I was able to cry or say something. I wasn’t sad. I was happy. I was happy that I made an impact on so many people’s lives, with most of them being positive. That’s when I see her again. Stacy was sitting alone by herself. I float over to her.
“Stacy, you’re my best friend and I’ve loved you ever since we were little. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the courage to tell you that when I was alive. I just hope that you spend the rest of your life being happy and maybe we’ll see each other again,” I said.
I float to the ceiling and look at everyone being brought together because of me. I feel good. Although my life was cut short. It was still a great life non the less.
Shawn Dulin is a writer from Springfield Illinois