The smell of dirt fills my nostrils, I feel the ground sink under my feet, it’s just rained. Death is in the air. I am surrounded by hushed people with covered heads. Black is turned blacker by the wetness. I can’t see anyone’s tears, but I can sense their sorrow. They are not wasted. There is beauty in death, as there is sadness and hideousness in life. The slick, black casket drops heavily into the earth, full of memories, full of emptiness, which was once so full of life. Softly the dust of the earth covers it, sealing its fate, it now belongs to the earth. More warm tears are shed, rolling down cold cheeks, mixing with raindrops. Silently we gather in a musty room, candles lit, must hangs in the air. We speak softly, walk slowly, we show respect. With words like daggers, piercing frail hearts, we remember. We remember good, we remember bad, we remember love. We sing solemn songs of death and life, the lost, and the found. The beating of broken hearts is almost deafening, it makes me want to scream to drown it out. With fresh wounds to all of us, we think of the love that now belongs to the earth. Is there a heaven? If there is, will our lost go there? Or will they be sent to hell, to burn in the eternal flames? The sadness comes over me in waves, this seemingly endless prison. This damp, dark room. I long to breathe the fresh air, to remember the lost on my own, to escape the despondency. We speak our last words of gloom, and we head back out into the rain, hiding our tears under cover of nightfall.