“Life is but a shadow and a dream,” the priest sings above my grandfathers grave.
I am standing at the head of the grave and the cross I’m holding is far more heavy than it looks. It’s the procession cross from the church. I wonder if it’s heavy from all the death it’s seen before.
It is hard to hide my tears as they freeze to my face, but the priest is moving on and I am in his way.
My grandmother wants his casket to face the East. So during the second coming he will face the sun just like his father and his mother, and his three younger brothers.
My father is crying and it breaks my heart more. I’ve seen him cry such few times during my life.
We pass Terry’s grave. I say hello. His funeral was the last time my father cried.
The pines trees that line the grave yard are covered in snow. It is mid November, three weeks before he turned 88.
I think of my grandfather wearing his best suit in his casket. They lower him down a notch. The grave is not as deep as I had imagined.
I think of the last time I saw him He was in the hospital and he was in pain. We all surrounded his bed, knowing what was coming.
The death bell rings in the distance, and I, the cross bearer, lead the procession away.