death rituals

a play written in the neo-futuristic aesthetic | shared in evy's notebook

prompt: a two-person play, with a visible task and personal story

setup: Jess and Evy are seated back to back. Jess has a bouquet of flowers in front of her. As they speak, they gaze in front of themselves in contemplation.

J: when my grandfather died [puts a single flower on the space between the two of them, facing the audience]

E: when my mom died [takes the flower]

J: I’d just moved across the country after college [continue to put individuals flowers onto the pile for each line]

E: I’d just moved out for college [continuously take petals off flowers into a pile in front of them]

J: I wasn’t expecting him to die so soon. It hit me hard.

E: She chose to die and we were with her. The death itself was almost a relief.

J: The ritual of the funeral helped me accept that he was dead. Funerals only happen for dead people. I got to learn about sides of him I’d never seen -- as a [tennis? highschool principal? fill in roles].

E: I hadn’t realized I was supposed to prepare something. I wish I’d said something more meaningful. She lived an isolated and lonely life, so I didn’t get to learn much about who she was outside of a mother.

J: I think my grandfather would have enjoyed his funeral.

E: I think my mom would have felt the same about hers as our other family gatherings and rituals -- awkward, and more about going through the motions than doing anything meaningful. Maybe it was meaningful for her brothers, I don’t know.

[E and J turn to face each other, outwards toward the audience. They start assembling an altar in front of them.]

J [while assembling the remaining flowers in a bouquet and arranging them nicely]: For my funeral, I would want [fill in response]

E [while making a nice shape with the petals]: My dad was talking recently about how funerals are for the living. So I guess I just want everyone who was close to me to get input into what the funeral involved. I want there to be connection and community.


E: curtain