Two Crows for an Empty Feeling
by Artie Knapp
Losing someone you love is never easy. It is especially tough to visit the gravesite of a loved one for the first time. It’s hard to believe the living breathing person you loved, and still love, is lying under the ground. Faith is supposed to get you through such times, but sometimes faith alone isn’t enough to mend a broken heart.
With age and time, we all face losing someone we care about. It is inevitable. Yet, there are some people that touch your life in such a way, that you cannot fathom them ever leaving you. The idea of something happening to that person is inconceivable. It is much easier to envision our own demise than theirs.
Then it happens. Surprisingly enough, it isn’t the shock you initially thought it would be. At first! And then it hits you. It hits you hard. Weeks and months go bye, and the pain in your chest doesn’t fade.
As close as I was with my Grandmother, I decided not to visit her in the final moments of her life. That is probably hard for some people to understand. I had lived through that before, and just felt I would spare myself the pain. For that, I am a coward. I took the easy way out.
When I visited my Grandmother’s grave for the first time it was a beautiful day. The Sun was bright, but it was chilly. Her marker wasn’t up yet, nor had any grass been planted. It was just mud. The lack of a marker and sod made her resting place seem lonelier than if they were in place. I bet when I see her marker for the first time, I’ll have a different opinion on the matter. A gravestone is, after all, the final reminder that someone has passed and is no longer with you.
Even while still standing beside my Grandmother’s grave, I was dreading driving by her house once I left the cemetery. I didn’t have to drive down her street, because it is a block off the main road I needed to take me home. It was just something I felt I needed to do. I knew it wouldn’t bring me closure of any kind, but I guess it was just my way of checking in on her.
Some people talk to the deceased when visiting a cemetery, but I find that hard to do. I wasn’t there more than two minutes before I found myself heading back toward my vehicle. I didn’t say a word. But something inside me was telling me it was too early to leave, so I walked back and stood along the gravesite.
Many memories were flashing through my head; her love of family, her laugh, her accusations that I was cheating her at euchre, if down by only a point, the celebration of her seventy-fifth birthday party, not one, but two of her fresh baked pumpkin pies that I dropped one morning, and so many more.
The Sun was getting closer to setting, and as I looked up the moon overhead shined brightly. Two crows suddenly flew across the sky. One of the crows had a long piece of straw in its beak. Perhaps he was building a nest where a new life would soon begin. At that moment, a peaceful serenity came over me and I told Granny I love her.
Copyright © 2006 by Artie Knapp