The grey spring clouds were breaking slightly letting mottled sunlight spread across the grass. I was leaning against a chain-link fence, looking at a dirty patch. That grass in that spot was really a patchwork of sod, each piece freshly plugged back into its location on top of freshly turned dirt marking the last resting place of an incredible woman I know.
I’d spent the whole day thinking about her.
I got up early to write my eulogy, and I thought about her kindness and the way she made everyone around her feel loved and welcome. I prepared the church building for the service, and I thought about where she used to sit, and who she sat by, and how many people she hugged. I set up mics and turned on computers and checked the sound, and I thought about how clearly she loved Jesus.
During the memorial service I got to hear family members and friends share how she had impacted their lives. One person who had struggled with the pain of abuse said, “She saved my life.” Driving to tyhe cemetary for the interring, I thought about all those people she had blessed over so many years.
Now I was standing looking at the grass. The service was over. Family was trickling away. The cemetary workers were rolling up the awning and putting away their tools—just another day of work for them. The gravestone hadn’t been installed yet. All that marked the spot was a little dirt showing through the sod.
Grass. A little dirt. And nothing else.
I’ve done a few funerals; they’re not new to me. But I haven’t stayed to the end of the interring since my dad died. That was when I was eleven; more than 30 years ago. I was much more emotional than I expected.