The Peacemaker


The Peacemaker

I sit on the floor, watching her.

She wrings out the cloth and begins at his feet, cleaning each toe before moving to the soles and then on to the heels. She rinses the cloth and continues to move up his body, each movement deliberate and brimming with purpose.

I know it’s a ritual. I am mesmerized by her movements, drawn inside them.

When she reaches his face, she lingers over every feature, traces every line. Flashing blue eyes, tousled brown hair, goofy grin. All memories now.

I hear her breath as it hitches in her throat; feel her grief spill into the air around us. I climb to my feet and wrap my arms around her.

She and I are different creatures. We always have been. She is traditional and reserved, composed and polished. I am an outspoken trouble-maker, disheveled and rough around the edges. But in this moment, we are the same. We are creatures of grief.

As we cling to each other, I can feel her composure crumbling. I hold her tighter and stroke her back. Over her shoulder, I look at my brother’s body, so cold and so still, and I wonder how she and I will manage without him. Our peacemaker.

Frozen together in that moment of loss, I take a chance and tell my mother that I love her.


This is my submission for this week’s Trifecta writing challenge. The word this week is deliberate and the third definition is as follows:

3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved

Here are the rules:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.


Image credit: © drakis

42 thoughts on “The Peacemaker

  1. What a devastatingly moving piece. The images you present are wrenching. And the end : ….I take a chance and tell my mother I love her. A whole other story comes to light. Excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You wrote a beautiful, touching scene. Grief can be polarizing – I’ve seen it drive a wedge between people as each withdraws into self, and I’ve seen it bring two people closer. I’m glad it appears that this bond might become stronger.

  3. Moving piece.. brought together by grief, as happens. Can they sustain it? Doesn’t matter. In that moment they have each other for comfort.

  4. This just captured my heart. Brought back the memory of my mother and myself cleaning my father after he passed away. Beautiful!

  5. Another beautiful scene. the reader is watching the mother right along with the daughter. Perfect placement of familial stances also.
    *brimming with purpose* *our peacemaker* ❤

  6. Sorry of your loss, never easy to lose a sibling and the way you wrote this, so interesting and matter of factual, until the grief at the end. Stunning story in its simple truth.

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