It was a bright sunny day with a big blue Colorado sky and happy puffs of clouds that was the day we were going to bury her ashes, and beforehand I went for a good long hard run.
The advantage of running was that afterward I had no thoughts.
Or if a thought came, it was slow as a fern unfurling.
And so by the time it was half past two and we had gathered at the cemetery, my legs were quivery and there was a white space in my head.
A pleasant, buzzing white space.
The funeral home had erected a small tent in the grass and we gathered beneath it. Because of cemetery rules there was a rabbi presiding.
He said a few words.
“She was gracious and strong and good to her family.”
We were all nodding, looking down.
“She was kind and good-humored.”
Yes, yes she was.
“She was not judgmental.”
Well, I thought, slowly raising up my eyes. C’mon now.
But someone was handing me a thornless rose. The service had ended. I stood grasping the rose, aimless. Someone gestured. Put it there, they were saying, lay it there on the dusty brown dirt.
It was over. I was following them out into the sun.