Erick J. Acosta Sosa

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The Puertorrican Funeral

There are some people crying in the back of the room, a few more talking at the door way.  At the front gate some middle-aged males discuss day-to-day topics. Kids run around the house. An old lady passes around coffee with cheese. It’s night time, a full moon in the sky and fresh weather keeps everyone cool.

Amongst the people, there are those who have never even met the deceased but they know some nephew, cousin or distant relative. The point is, they are just serving as company and support for the family. There always seems to be a family member present who lives in New York or some other state. The house is filled with old doll figures and family pictures. During the ceremony, many people say good things about the deceased, even if they could not tolerate him in life. It’s now, at the funeral everyone remembers how much they liked him.

Early in the morning, the family depart to the cemetery. It’s then the closest family members begin suffering the loss. Sometimes the widow cries on the top of the coffin and screams, ¨please take me with you!¨ There is always somebody watching her though, so she does not fall inside the hole. Most often, there is a priest or an old family member, or a friend of the family who gives a final speech as the coffin goes down into the hole.

Once the ceremony is over most of the people go on with their business and the family returns to their respective homes, The ones who stay behind at the cemetery, fix the flowers and area around the grave. The next day, most everyone goes back to normal and just the memories remain.

That is my Puertorrican funeral.

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