I did a funeral for a three year old today. For some reason I have always felt comforted when I see older people in their coffins because they don’t look real. I mean they look dead and its easy for me to grasp that their spirits are no longer in those old bodies; their spirits have moved on.
The three year old looked like he was sleeping. I could count his eyelashes. The color in his cheeks looked normal. He was beautiful.
I wanted to pull the covers up a bit and tuck him in a bit.
His family couldn’t stop tussling his hair, touching his cheek. And still he didn’t wake up. They cried and wailed and touched him and called his name, but he didn’t wake up.
And they carried him out in his little white coffin- only two men had to carry him. And balloons were tied to the coffin as if they might just carry him right up to heaven.
And we went to the Baby section of the cemetery where all the little graves had dolls and toy trucks and cars and stuffed animals left behind. And we looked at the little open grave.
I read the words and said the prayers. We let go of the balloons we had to send them to heaven so that he and the other kids could play with them.
It was the only time I could make out what his mother was saying between her sobs. Good bye. Good bye.