The earth was still soft and moist, having been freshly tilled and patted down by the flat side of the gravedigger’s shovel. The woman he had loved all those years lay beneath his muddied shoes, separated by a thick layer of compressed mud and gravel. A few moments ago, he stared in disbelief as the coffee-coloured rectangular box lowered into the gaping, rugged maw. A confusing array of thoughts streamed through his mind’s eye. Those sweet loving hands that doted on him as he lay sick in bed, that fed him when hunger called, that clothed him when he was unable to do so on his own. That strong foundation stone of strength he reached out to at the hardest of times, yet always available to lend comfort and assistance when need be. Though from this moment forth, just an embodiment of precious thoughts and endearing recollections. The raw pain cut deep and remain it would.
He bent over to scoop up some of the scant surface soil. Clammy, crust-ridden chunks seemed to cling to his fingertips as the content were poured into his coat pocket. He swore he would treasure them till his dying day. Swap his entire fortune for what those fragments of dried earth represented. The final physical artefacts that symbolised a monumental turning point in his otherwise ordinary life. He glanced back to the black hearse at the far end of the road. His wife stood dutiful by it’s side, hands clasped together and rested on the front of her black satin dress. She understood the steadfast importance of her role in his life and the gravity of change that was to come for them both. At that instant, a sliver of sun-kissed rays shone down through a narrow opening in the clouds, dowsing her in an almost angelic aura. She looked as radiant and beautiful as the day they had first met, causing him to purse his lips together and nod.
Time was pressing on and it made no sense to prolong this emotional agony. He was sure to return and pay his humble respects on many an occasion to come. At present, his mental state was a searing open wound. The healing process had to start sometime, so why not now, he thought. The most important person in his life would now live on in his dreams and through fond reminiscing’s. The world would keep on spinning and he promised to do everything in his power to make her decades of altruistic laboured hard work a justifiable one. Even only in spirit if nothing else.
”I love you.” He whispered under his breath before averting his eyes and heading for the lone figure waiting for him by the car. That thin sliver of time, would go on to stay with him forever.
One chapter closed shut as another one opens...