The eulogy was read.
Before the tombstone was placed, grandmother's ashes were laid inside the freshly dug hole of dirt. Her ashes were encased in a rectangular-shaped gold-colored metal box. A sticker labeling her name on one end. Wrapped in a cheap-looking blue velvet drawstring bag. My father knelt down to place it in that empty grave. On this island. Full of happy memories.
And one sad one.
Earlier in the day, while waiting in line for the ferry, I saw the box. It was in the trunk of my parent's GMC Envoy. I was disappointed at how unspecial it looked. But I grabbed it with both hands & pushed it close to my chest.
"I'm holding grandmother," I whispered.
And then the ferry arrived, so I had to give her back.
At the funeral service, some family & friends placed flowers inside the grave. Others gave sentiments of personal meaning: a ticket stub from her last ferry ride on the island, seaglass (which grandmother loved to collect on the beach, & her grandkids loved to collect for her), a seashell, an agate. I reached inside my pocket & gripped tight to my chosen token. I stood over the hole. With a proper shake of my wrist, I flung six bright white dice toward that velvet bag in the ground. The dice clanked against the metal box, hit the dirt with tiny thuds as they tumbled to the bottom. I knew it was as close as I'd ever get to a last game of Farkel with grandmother. It was my final turn at the dice with that lovely lady of mine.
Some days I feel as if I might be sick. The sadness makes my insides twist.
She'll never return to me.
And the absence of her is sometimes more than I think I can bear.