I know that when my grandmother, Ida, died, I began to feel her with me-- as I do even to the present day; when times are rough and it looks as though survival is dicey, I feel her come in, a guardian spirit, a buffer between me and danger. I don't know if this is real or imagined; I don't know if the dead give a damn about the living. Are they like the spirits in Oscar Wilde's Our Town or do I accurately feel Ida's protection and compassion? And if it is the latter, I do hope that Gary takes Dean under his wing and protects his good friend from harm.
I stayed until the men turned on the backhoe, brought over the cement lid for the tomb and lowered it into the hole. I crept up as they moved the dump truck into position and readied it to pour dirt into the hole. I sneaked up as the men worked and I helped shove large old rocks into the hole. Then I fetched a flat shovel from the truck's cab so that I could help shovel dirt into the hole. When they brought the top soil over in the backhoe's bucket, I helped smooth the dirt over the hole.
I hope to never bury a friend again, though I know death is part of life. And when I die I don't want people to wear black or shove me into a box and drop me into a hole. Give me a green funeral and dance and sing and have a grand potluck. And take care of my horses, mules and pony.