'Take the Rough With the Smooth' (5 Minute Freewrite)steemCreated with Sketch.

in freewrite •  5 months ago

Take the rough with the smooth. Those words, spoken so regularly throughout Marie's childhood, come back to her now as she stands by the coffin, politely smiling and nodding at all of the well-wishers as they approach to shake her hand and say, 'sorry for your loss.'

She remembers being surprised by the smoothness of her mother's cheeks, when she had reached in to stroke them just before the coffin was closed for good. They had felt like silk beneath her fingers: very cold, but not waxy or tough, as she had expected them to be. And her mother's face had looked peaceful, with a slight smile across it.

In this moment – even as the line of fellow mourners grows longer and longer, with everyone eager to tell her a story about how her mother had touched their lives whilst alive: helped them, cheered them up during a time of difficulty, or contributed to one of the many local charities and committees – all Marie can think about is the sheer bizarreness of death. It seems surreal to her that her own hands – currently so full of movement, life, expressiveness – will one day be still and cold, and her eyes will eventually be blank, unseeing, devoid of any meaning. She didn't have to see her mother's eyes like that, thankfully. The undertaker had taken care of the whole thing.

Why is thinking about this right now? She should be paying closer attention to the people who are speaking to her. She should be making a greater effort to remember all of their names, their faces, their stories. She hasn't even been able to cry yet. The tears should come soon, right? They have to come soon.

Take the rough with the smooth, her mother always used to say. And that is exactly what she will do.


This is a response to @mariannewest's most recent freewrite prompt, 'smooth as silk'.

Image Source: Final Road Map


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Wow. This is exquisite writing. It captures the surrealness of the experience of that particular moment at a funeral so well.

There is a sense of bewilderment, detachment, very much a surreal feel. As if the protagonist is more of a spectator, rather than one of the bereaved. I think it captures the essence of this type of loss quite well.

That was lovely @aislingcronin

Loss and bereavement are strange and can be different for us all. You almost float through the funeral and all that goes with it. It is only when everyone is gone home, and you are alone, that the feelings really hit you. I guess it is different for everyone.

It is difficult and it takes a lot of time to get over, and even as you get over it, you feel guilty, am I getting over it too soon?? You realise then, that you never get over certain things, you just learn to cope and to live your life.

Thanks for your thought-provoking piece of writing

Nice Aisling, your writing pulls me in and that doesn't happen very often.
How does this freewrite work. I would maybe like to try sometime.


Thank you @wombloom. ❤ I always enjoy your posts too! The five minute freewrite basically is what it sounds like: you write for five minutes, expressing whatever comes to mind during that time, even if (ESPECIALLY if) you think it isn't 'good enough ', or whatever. As a perfectionist, the five minute freewrites have done wonders for me in helping me to let go of the need for everything I write to be 'perfect'. You basically go to @mariannewest's page every day, check her freewrite prompt word or phrase for that day, and let your imagination flow, using whatever sentences or images come to mind when you think of the prompt word(s). I definitely recommend it. 😊


Oh, that sounds like so much fun! Thanks for explaining!

At my mother's funeral, I stood stoically with my sisters and never broke down or betrayed my mask. You captured my feelings very well. Of course, the tears came as I eulogized her; terrible sobs and gasps for breath. The smooth before the rough? Thanks.

Here is today's prompt: Day 294: 5 Minute Freewrite: Thursday - Prompt: puzzle