Oh my heart which I had from my mother!
Oh my heart which I had from my mother!
Oh my heart of my different ages!
Do not stand up as a witness against me, do not be opposed to me in the tribunal,
do not be hostile to me in the presence of the Keeper of the Balance,
For you are my ka which was in my body, the protector who made my members hale.
Go forth to the happy place whereto we speed;
do not make my name stink to the Entourage who make men.
do not tell lies about me in the presence of the god;
It is indeed well that you should hear!
-Book of the Dead
I am now sitting in a tent that has been raised for me right next to wabt net wet, the place of embalming, where mother, true of voice, shall have her body prepared to be the home for her ka and ba so that her light soul, akh, can become a child of Nut and spend eternity with the northern stars.
There is no question in my mind that mother was murdered, and I know exactly who did this - I recognised the signs in her body. I curse my sister. People speak in whispers of a new monster, Ammit, that will eat the hearts that are not pure, when people reach the last judgment. I know my sister's heart is heavy with the thoughts of evil deeds, and I know my curse will reach her. May Ammit devour her heart, and may her soul be restless forever more, never finding peace again. May it die a second death and be forgotten for all eternity.
I am writing this to you, my father, because I promised mother I would let you know of her death. I also write this to tell you how you can find the Place of the Neteru - the place where mother shall be buried in secrecy. It is a place of deep secrets, and there she can be found with the secrets she guarded with her life, if you, my father, wish to search for her.
Mother warned me that whenever words are written down, secrets can be revealed, and no written secret lasts forever. And so I shall hide the clues along the Path of the Dead, for you to find if you understand. And you are the only one who could ever understand the path, mother told me.
I have taken good care that mother will be embalmed in the best way possible. I am not poor, and Mother of the King, Tiye - life, prosperity, health - has made offerings too, items that are of great wealth and value to her, to show her affection. She and mother were close, closer than many know. But Tiye - may she live - is not here to see the burial. She is now in Akhetaten, preparing for the great jubilation of all nations. There also is my sister now - stuck with her duties, dancing under the Aten's blessed rays, to celebrate his glory for all eternity. She cannot leave because she is in the retinue of Neferneferuaten, and does not wish her to know what she knows, as all would be taken from her. Also her accomplices cannot reach her now because of her duties under the sun. And it is good. Because of this we can leave in secrecy.
I know who are the spies she has sent to observe all I do, being prevented from coming here herself. They are to find where the Abode of the First Gods is, the place where mother will be buried. But rest assured, my father, she will not know this from me because not even I know. There is another who will lead us there. I have been there before but I do not know where it is.
I was with mother when her soul left her body, and I will take care it can unite with her body again and live forever more in the Field of Reeds, in the kingdom of Osiris, until it is time for you to meet again.
I had her taken to the place of washing, the she-netjer, which serves the blessed dead of the keneret of Mi-Wer. Her body was washed and she was then taken here, the place of embalming with great respect shown to it all the way. The women of the keneret wailed and threw dust on their hair, ululating their grief for all to hear.
I have witnessed the process of embalming myself, though no other outsider has been allowed to see this before. But they feared me, and they feared the Mother of the King, and so on her orders I was given permission, after careful purification. And so all hairs of my body were shaved, my mouth was purified with salt, and I sat, in a corner, out of the way, and observed the violent ways used to prepare us for eternity, so that we can keep on living.
This is why I know that today the Slitter has done his job, and has made the incision on my mother's lower belly, next to the left thigh. I know this because while sitting in my dark tent I heard the other embalmers chasing him, and I heard the shouts of the people who loved my mother and who are guarding us even now. They attacked the Slitter as is proper, hitting him, and throwing stones at him for violating her beautiful body. I have taken care he will be rewarded later with a golden arm ring to thank him for his service, and he will give me the blade used on my mother so no one else can use it - it shall be buried with her. I know the Slitter well, for he has often talked with me in the darkness and I know his attitude towards the dead is respectful. He is not the kind to steal the amulets, to insult beautiful bodies or do his job poorly or demand things from the dead.
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