Stumme Seufzer, stille Klagen
(Wordless Sigh, Secret Laments)
By: Tiffany Jane L. Alfonso
Age 13


I see the pain in my mother and my grandmother after two deaths. Two months before this story was written, I experienced my second death in my family. The first, I believe, happened sixteen days before Christmas and eighty-nine days after The Mournful Morning (what I nicknamed September 11, 2001). My middle school years were difficult because of what I had experienced before eighth grade.

December 2001: Papa, Kimmie Loves You

Three days before my grandfather died, my cousins from New Jersey came to see him in his deathbed (the type used in hospitals and hospices) at my grandparents' room. His disease was colon cancer, leaving him vegetating with a colostomy bag. On the eighth of that year (December), we went to the mall:no Nintendo games, Care Bear plush toys, nor classical music compact discs. The only thing we bought are black garments because my grandfather was dying. A few of you who visited KidsAid had either the identical or similar experince as I did.

Before I went to bed, I prayed two times with my family and the priest. The next day, at 4:30 am, my grandfather perished. I can hear the howling wails of my grandmother and the bitter sobs of my mother. That afternoon, my parents told me the fact that my vacation to Orlando was postponed until late January. I knew why:it would be immensly tough to do positive family activites after a death of a loved one. That's also true with Christmas as well that year

Mom notified the school that I will be absent two days after the death (I mean I'll be absent on the eleventh). After school, I went to the wake. I found my grandfather contented in peace in his periwinkle-colored casket. During that time, we prayed the rosary again (but this time my eldest Florida cousin, Ate Eia {Rose} Lime lead it with the other relatives {e. g the Gonzagas} along with the family}. It was held at the Hillsboro Memorial Funeral Home in Brandon.

The next day, we had a funeral held at the same place the wake was held. My grandfather was buried in a masoleum. After the funeral, we prayed the novena written by an anonymous pastor for nine days. We prayed it again on the "fortieth day". I'm really touched by the words "freeing the souls in purgatory" in the novena.

April 2003: Thy Will Be Done

The night after Easter (April 19), my second death made me go to school only for my orchestra concert the next day. This was my father's toll of his life due to a different type of cancer:the one on the liver. I heard my mother weep from my bed, the place where my grandfather died two years ago. I was madly hollering if he's okay, but my mother cried that he's dead.

The day after the orchestra concert, I went to my second wake, held at the same place my first funeral I have attended. I found my father a tad more peaceful than my grandfather. The rosary vigil was lead by a pastor from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Seffner, Father Fritzgerald. One of The Calling's songs was played at the wake.

The funeral was a little bit more special to me because the service was held in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Uncle Todd and Uncle Jon were two of the torchbearers. The service was a typical style of average American funerals. As my uncles carry the casket to the altar, "On Eagle's Wings" was played at the beginning. The only secular thing was when they incensed my father, my half-sister, Kimberly, thought it was smoke and she fakly coughed. All the relatives and the rest of the Alfonsos from Long Island, New York were with me and my family.

We are escorted by the police to Hillsboro Memorial Funeral Home. My mother, gandmother, Uncle Todd, Aunt Irene, Kimberly, my New Jersey cousins, and I rode in a limosine. I felt a tad luxurious, but not much. On our way to Hillsboro, I spotted the Household buliding. That caught my eye because in my critical thinking class, we're doing Junior Achevement.

They opened the casket to give people a chance to see my father the final time. There's a wall of tears in the second masoleum. The burial in the first was temporary, so the casket will be moved to a newly-built masoleum later this year.


Death, however, is a section of life. The two cancer victims are importantly part of me and the rest of my family. Currently (and evermore), there are two guardian angels watching over me, my family, and my relatives. I'm really sure that their location in Heaven will always be secure and faithful.

Dedicated To:

Isaias Alfonso
1954 - 2003

And Prospero C. Lime Sr.
1929 - 2001