Of all the days for the drought to end it had to be today. God’s final twist of the knife, I suppose. At least the ground will be soft, right? Easier to dig the grave. I feel so numb to the world around me. Today is the day that I see the love of my life for the final time. Before 6 feet of dirt comes between us.
Nobody knows how to approach me today. Tiptoeing around, making casual smalltalk with distant relatives and acquaintances. The classic funeral banter–“So good to see you, I just wish it was under better circumstances.” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but this is all part of God’s plan.”
What the fuck does that even mean? God’s plan. He planned to rob a 4 year old of their parent? He planned to let my final words to my wife be angry, and hateful? He planned to completely uproot the lives of so many just for some kind of lesson? I’m calling bullshit.
I don’t mean to be bitter. I just don’t like seeing my wife this way. The life–completely gone from her face. Her eyes that used to sparkle and shine now are dark and cold. This is how I will remember her. This will be the final image I have of her.
There’s only a few more minutes before the casket is forever sealed, and lowered into the ground. Covered shovelful by shovelful of dirt, until it is no longer visible to man. Only to be marked by a gravestone that says nothing of the life that lived beneath it, other than the fact that they lived.
People are now lining up for the final goodbye. The pallbearers have put their gloves on, and it’s time to go. It’s strange. Seeing people look like this. Seeing people look at me like this. The sadness in their eyes, the tears. So many people that I haven’t seen nor heard from in I can’t tell you how long. It’s an endless parade of gloomy faces and silent prayer.
Finally it’s her. My wife. My last chance to say goodbye. Her once lifeless eyes now filled with tears, completely unprepared for this moment. She leans into the casket, kisses my forehead, and says:
“Forever us. I love you.”
I wish I could tell her the same thing. I wish I could tell her that everything will be okay. I wish that I could hold her one more time and thank her for everything that she’s done.
Instead, I will hold onto this moment. The way her lips felt on my skin. The gentle squeeze of her hand on mine for the last time. This is what I will hold with me forever–knowing that someday, she’ll be happy again. She’ll find love again. That we’ll meet again.