Though she technically didn't die of a broken heart, she'd only lasted one hundred days.
Alzheimer's had taken him from her years before, his bodily death on January 4th, a mere formality.
Easter dinner was her favorite. Leg of lamb and whatever trimmings go with it. Mint jelly? On meat?
I wasn't with her for that meal. I hadn't seen her since January, when I'd bent over her withered frame, and yelled into her ear that I loved her. Incredibly sad was how she looked, and suddenly much smaller. The only time I spoke to her after that, incredibly sad was how she sounded;
"All I do is sit around and eat cookies."
She'd taken care of him for over half a century. She never let him eat too many cookies.
I wonder if she was able to enjoy that holiday meal; her first holiday without him would be her last. She collapsed after dinner and passed away two days later.
A hundred days after Him.
Grampa's ashes had been waiting until the ground softened up enough to accept them. Now Her's sat beside His, each in their own box. We put them on his recliner together. I remember her sitting on his lap in a recliner.
Is it weird to look? I looked. The heavy cardboard boxes were covered in black plastic, maybe vinyl. Inside each box, a clear plastic bag. Inside the plastic bags? If you know then you know; if you don't, well, you don't. It didn't bother me though. It wasn't Them.
Filling the empty space in each box, Styrofoam packing peanuts. That bothered me.
Their three daughters, all of their grandchildren, several great grandchildren, brought them to the mountain. Or what passes for a mountain in New Jersey.
A prettier place to put them I couldn't have imagined. Rolling green hills, tree lined paths, flowers everywhere. I love cemeteries.
A minister of some sort said some words. I forget who placed the boxes, side by side, in the small hole.
I took my turn tossing a flower down in and offering up my final goodbye; silently congratulating them on their long life together, and for their reunion.
We lingered after the minister left. Something wasn't right. I felt it. Others felt it too.
The boxes. The plastic bags. The peanuts.
These things an insult to the Them, to the Earth. They weren't together, not fully.
A decision was made. My sister and uncle did the honors.
Out came the boxes. Out came the bags. Discarded were the peanuts.
We huddled around the small hole, feeling sneaky and naughty.
The contents of the bags were poured into the Earth, the particles of One mixing with the particles of the Other.
Some of Them took to the wind. I watched Them fly away. I breathed Them in.
I thanked the Universe for allowing Them to go to the Earth as One.