Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Aunt Helen

I wrote this story a few days ago and I really like it so I decided to share it with you and see what you think of it! Hope you like it! Don't be afraid to give feedback in the comment section below.

It was a cold day in the middle of December and the neighbourhood church was crowded with a wave of people dressing black as they rolled in to pay respects to my late Aunt Helen. My aunt Helen was a beautiful lady with luscious, wavy brown hair, highlighted with streaks of blonde. Her long lashes complimented her innocent hazel eyes and her plump lips did the same to her face. Her slender figure was always dressed smartly in her sweet dresses. She believed in sensible footwear and always wore flats unless she was going somewhere fancy, then she would wear 5-inch heels and stomp around like a 200 pound man trying to stand on a 5 inch platform. Her nails were always perfectly manicured, even her toe nails. She always carried around a nail filer and would spend her free time shaping her nails or checking her Facebook to see if any of her old college friends got in touch with her about the thousands of reunions she put together so she can brag about her successful career as the assistant of an extremely famous fashion designer. She was extremely popular “back then”. She told me a ton of stories of the parties she threw for her sorority sisters.

Her face stained with tears and her brown eyes swollen over the grief, my mom stood in the corner and bawled into my father’s shoulder as she mourned over the loss of her dear sister. My mom and aunt Helen were incredibly close. They were like two peas in a pod, like peanut butter and jelly. They only stayed away from each other if they were busy or they got in a fight over something. They told each other everything, from problems about their jobs, to “personal problems”. The two of them loved playing basketball with me, my brother, and my father. We played it every time she came over after we ate aunt Helen’s favourite, pasta with a side salad. She was always there for me, I liked to talk to her about my problems rather than my mom, she was younger so I knew that she would understand.

I stood by the door of the church and welcomed everyone who came in. Some, shook my hand and said, in a very cold, unsympathetic manner, “I’m sorry for your loss” and others gave me a warm hug and in the middle of their tears said, “I’m am so sorry” and walked away. I tried to smile and greet them but it was really hard. I turned around to where her coffin lay shut. Surrounding the coffin were hundreds of flowers laid out in a very neat  and orderly way and below that were small tea light candles which were lit by the guests. Next to her coffin stood a framed picture of her on a wire easel. She had a smile on her face. Another tear streamed out of my eye. I felt a tap on my shoulder, I wiped the tear away and turned around. It was just another person who wanted to tell me the same sentence I have been hearing for the past 20 minutes.

Finally the pastor stood up on stage and began his speech. “We are gathered here to pay our final respects to…….” My heart dropped. “She’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead” I kept repeating these words in my head. I could taste the saltiness of a tear as one streamed down my cheeks and touched my lip.

Everyone was silent. I could hear the slight pitter-patter outside the church as it started to drizzle. The dark clouds rolled in as the white, fluffy clouds disappeared.The sky was grey and the wind howled furiously. I knew why the wind sounded so furious. I knew it. It was my fault. Everyone knew it. Aunt Helen is dead because of me. Even the wind knew it.

If I had just listened to my parents and waited for a couple of hours, she would still be here. The memories of the accident flooded my mind. I remembered the fatal drive to the mall just to get a pair of shoes before they sold out. I remember the headlights of the blue mustang coming closer and closer to our car. I remember the sounds which played out during this accident as if someone had recorded it and was playing it back to me. I remembered the honking, the screaming and the ambulance sirens ringing in my ear.

I remembered her majestic voice telling me to wait, how I annoyed her until she finally agreed, how I kept yelling “Faster!” in her ear as she drove the car.

IT WAS MY FAULT! I should have died, not her. Because IT WAS MY FAULT!

“It’s not your fault.The driver was drunk. He skipped the red light” an angelic voice told me. I knew it was in my head but for some reason it was very convincing. It felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could feel the guilt fade away, I could feel my soul cleared of all sin. I realised, it was not my fault. It wasn’t. It was the drunk driver who killed my aunt.

“Now, I want to call Helen’s niece, Jessica Dawson to say a few words” the pastor said as he gestured to me inviting me up to the stage. I got up and shuffled out of the wooden church benches and walked up to the stage.I straightened my black dress and cleared my throat.

“Death ends a life, not a relationship. She may be dead, but she still remains here…..” I moved my arm and touched my chest, just above where my heart was “ our hearts. Aunt Helen was an amazing lady. She touched many people, in many ways. She believed that imagination was stronger than knowledge, that dreams are more powerful than facts, that laughter was the only cure for grief. It’s how she lived her life. She laughed at every opportunity, she brought smiles to people who were in the toughest of situations. She died young, but her brightness will live on forever.”



  1. I love your thoughts “Death ends a life, not a relationship. She may be dead, but she still remains here…..”. Bless you. Keep writing.

  2. Wow! Another powerful story Urja. Great imagery and emotion. Thanks for sharing your words with us. The world needs more stories written by young people. Especially when they are so beautiful.

  3. Beautifully written ....I feel it's touching that your first was on birth and second on death - two ends of human life. Keep writing dearie !!

  4. Many years earlier I read a story about a boy who describes his father's death in Mussorie. I had read another story which ends in the death of the narrator's friend. They both were beautiful stories written by Ruskin Bond.

    I felt that I am reading Ruskin Bond again! I am feeling so emotional and proud of you!