It rained a lot that day. Lahore, per usual fashion, was flooded in a matter of hours making the drive from my house to the funeral home longer than it should have been. My father was driving, and my mother was in the passenger seat. I was alone in the back seat. My sisters can deal with my mother much better than i can.
"You should have had your clothes ironed."
"We didn't have enough time, mother."
"Perhaps if you'd woken up earlier."
I stayed silent. It was best to avoid confrontation when she was so obviously saddened and ridiculously edgy. It took ten more minutes of complete silence to get to our destination.
"Make sure you don't smile when you're greeting the mourning. It's inappropriate."
We entered the home to the sound of wails. My grandmother was standing in front of her brother's corpse weeping silently. She was gently stroking his hair. She looked up to see me and her daughter, but then continued to stroke his hair. Her sisters were huddled around the body too, some crying louder than others. The deceased's daughters were nowhere to be found. We later found out they were all upstairs. They didn't want to see the body.
The rain didn't stop for the next six hours.
We prayed two hours after arriving.
The sheer number of people meant the prayer would be outside. In the rain. The coffin was brought outside and placed on the lawn. It sunk a little in the wet mud. We then prayed. It took a long time, longer than I would have thought. I wasn't certain of the way this specific prayer was meant to be offered. I just stayed silent.
The cemetery was right behind the house. The body was hoisted atop the shoulders of the deceased's nephews and grandsons and taken away to the cemetery. I didn't want to go. But I had to. The spectacle would be unbelievable.