The Wrong Coat

April 10, 2022 § 2 Comments

Photographer: L.L. Abraham@flickr

Diane Zinna’s Grief Writing Workshop
Sunday, April 10th, 2022
Writing Prompt: “The Wrong Coat” leaving the party

The music from the party was so loud that my ears were buzzing and I could only think that this is what bubbles in my glass of diet soda must sound like if they could hear their effervescence.  

I couldn’t keep up, drifting back into the sadness of grief that I carry, always so near to my heart. I felt a panicky feeling rising and I just wanted to get out of there; a room filled with people I know well having a great time. It’s the contrast,  I thought, with my desire for a peaceful rhythm. I wanted to be there, be present, but memories of my sweet husband kept breaking through the booming voice of the DJ introducing a new group of performers. 

I rush into the coatroom and grab the first red coat that I see up front on the rack. The air feels cool and calming outside and I am relieved to be alone. I reach into the coat pocket and suddenly I realize that it’s not mine. There is a torn piece of paper crumpled up. I slowly, carefully unfold it and read that it’s from a funeral program with today’s date, printed text on both sides. 

I know those words: “In the rising of the sun and in it’s going down, we remember them. In the blowing of the wind…” Shocked, I can’t go on. I must find this woman who has saved the “Prayer of Remembrance” from the the funeral she attended. It must mean something to her and she would understand why I needed to leave the party. 

I ask the coat check person who is now standing by if she knows the owner of this coat. Relieved, she points to a woman who’s seated by herself at a table, in a dark corner of the room. I slowly walk towards the table and say, grasping the paper from her pocket, in my hand: “This is my life! So long as I live, he lives too.” As it is in the prayer, “Our loved ones are part of us, as we remember them.” She thanks me, stands and we embrace, holding on to each others grief and humanity. 

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