The Secret Life of Bees

How do they say goodbye to May? How does Lily say goodbye? Ch 10

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In Chaprer Ten, after an autopsy, the police officially rule May’s death a suicide. August explains to Lily that they will sit with May’s body until she is buried, and May’s coffin is brought into the living room. They hold a vigil to say goodbyes to May and to allow May to understand that those she leaves behind accept that she is moving on. June plays the cello, and Lily looks at May’s body. Lily realizes that only six days have passed since she learned that her mother once stayed with the Boatwrights, though it feels like six months. Lily feels an impulse to come clean with August at that moment, but she determines that it is not fair to add this material to August’s burden at this time. Lily says goodbye to May internally, but before she leaves the coffin, she rearranges May to look as if she is pondering the future.