I could not help but snap a picture of the circle of chairs that had formed in my grandmother’s living room, hours after they had become vacant. These chairs had been pulled from every room of the house, to allow for all those who came by to have a seat. Death being the reason for their visit.
So, I sat looking at those chairs, amazed by all the people that sat in them throughout the day. An old milker’s chair rested in the far right corner of the room, I can pick it out from memories of my youth. The ancient rocker, I almost broke a couple times, placed right next to it. Completing the circle were the couches, kitchen chairs and some of those basic white party chairs.
We needed all of the chairs we could get. These were very different from each other, they had their own story in that house: how they got there, how long they’d been there, why they were there, etc. Just like them, the people who sat in them throughout the day got to that house in different ways. Uniting them, was their luck of having known my grandmother.
My grandmother’s ill state and death spread like wildfire. It was the saddest reason for those chairs to be filled, but they were filled regardless. The room was filled like it never had been before.
Chairs at a time of death become stages, where stories are shared for those to hear and bring to life the memories of those who passed. Memories foreign to some, familiar to others, and a reminder of a life well lived.