“I didn’t cry. I wanted to, but I didn’t” I said to the man in the long coat leaning on the stone crypt. Its weathered white marble dripped along with the rain coming down.
“I know”, he said. “I know this was difficult but it was”. He paused and looked down for a moment avoiding my gaze, “necessary.”
I looked over my shoulder back from where I was. “Will it go away? The pain that is” I looked back at him, and our eyes met.
“I wish I could tell you it will, but I’d be lying to you. I can’t do that.” His eyes met mine and I could see the true sincerity. He was telling the truth. I could see sadness in his usually emotionless face. “We can’t stay here much longer, it isn’t safe.”
“Yes, of course.” I said looking down at the rain soaked grass. “I don’t, can’t come here again. It isn’t safe for them.”
“I’m sorry, but no. You can’t come here again. What you’ve, we’ve done is too, well, they wouldn’t understand.” He stood straight up. “Perhaps you’d want to look, one last time?”
I nodded my head, looked down and turned. Slowly I walked up the rise of the hill past a few headstones. As I approached the terminus on the rise I could see. Through the raindrops a black tent propped up in the distance. There were people standing under the tent, filling it, and many more outside standing out in the rain. A few were still coming from behind a cluster of thick pine trees. I was a little startled when he put his hand on my shoulder. I hadn’t heard him come up behind me. I turned my head and looked back at him.
“We have to go.”
I nodded slightly, and looked back at the crowd of mourners. My eyes looked at the faces of the people. I recognized almost all of them. One face turned and looked up in my direction.
The rain seemed never to let up. It was creeping into every pour of everyone and everything at the funeral. She never thought that this would ever happen, at least not to him. He was her friend and had been for a very long time. And now he was gone. Forever. She walked from the car with her husband holding her hand, it was comforting to have him there, but there was still the pain. She stopped just short of the large tent housing the casket and his immediate family and a few who could fit under the tarp. The rain beat down relentlessly. ‘It’s like Heaven is crying’, she thought. But even this water could not cleanse everyone here and take away the pain.
The pastor began to speak and quote from the Bible, then after a few minutes he asked that everyone bow his or her heads in prayer. Everyone did. As she lowered her head, she caught something out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head to the left and could barely make out on a hill, a figure in what looked like a trench coat, then another behind him. She tried to make out detail but the rise was too far away. She blinked as the rain came down on her face, and the two figures were gone. She turned and tried to see more clear, but the two were gone like a vision. She turned back to the tent and lowered her head once more.