If I Die Before My Sister

By Neena Grewal, TIWP Student

If I die before my sister, tell her to paint my coffin. Get her canary yellow, burnt sienna, bloody red, and beg her to cover the black lid in color—so bright it almost seems silly to cry over it. Tell her to paint the ocean we visited, the lavender that grew in our garden, the black cat we had years with. When you send out the word, send it with a smile. Publish in every letter, every magazine, every newspaper, that I am dead as though it were an afterthought. Tell the world to come when I am buried. Forbid the color black from the cemetery and pass my possessions around as gifts. Have them dance around and shout with joy! Have them pop champagne and serve a three-tier cake! When you spread my ashes across some misty mountains or sun basked river, cheer! Send a cry of victory and happiness across the world that I am now a part of the planet I grew on. Rejoice that I am nothing but specks in the air. Sing because I am no longer trapped in a body. When you lower my body into the ground, bury me with your grief and keep the fond memories to yourself. Keep this in mind if I die before my sister. For if I do:  celebrate!

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