A trip to the other side

The searing afternoon heat hung heavy in the air. One of the boys slipped sending knobs of sod into the pit as the sliding ropes stirred the earth. Dust rose languidly carried forth by the gentle draft obscuring the wailing assemblage momentarily. A lump rose in my throat but I couldn’t cry now, I had to be strong for the toddler clutching at my fingers. However, in despair, the tears flowed freely and I hung my head and whimpered like a schoolgirl.

Little Sally’s glassy eyes gaze into mine, puzzled at her father’s breakdown and I look away in shame. It was sad but I could not fathom that feeling, I dreaded that feeling but my heavy heart just did not consider it at the moment. Yes, I was in grief, not for her mommy but of my own end that loomed so near and so certain. Steady now boys; steady the brown box as it descends into the abyss. There, peaceful she is lain as that hot head rumbles along about dust and ashes.

My will to live is strong like the headless chicken squirming under the butcher’s blade but not for long, the body can only take so much. The painful coughs that have grated my throat for days on end have started draining the vim and vigor out of me. Soon, the sores will follow neck on neck with other despicable ailments I only read about in those hospital handouts the doctor gave us.

By now, the boys’ muscles are glistening in the midday sun as they swiftly shovel the dirt into the pit. Sally, just stares into the grave and I wonder what she might be thinking. A sniffle escapes me and I try to muffle it with my sleeve but to no avail. They are now leveling the mound, positioning the flowers and the cross. It is all over and my head is reeling but a steady ringing at the back of my mind seems to jolt me to reality.

I guess it is time for me to go. Earlier, I purchased my express ticket from the pharmacy and the flight is booked for tonight. I plan to travel light and fast, no stops or teary goodbyes. Please tell my daughter not to wait for me because I am never coming back.