I felt like the ass that day. Everybody was crying, tearing up, bawling, breaking down, saying their goodbyes and I was fine. I'd given a rotten eulogy and thrown up a time or two but that was nerves about standing up in front of people. I'd always had trouble with that. I meant nothing in his eulogy. Not a word. The phrases and sentences maybe my mom and aunt meant but they never understood him anyway. Their minds, like those of so many humans, were crowded with love. His death wasn't about him no longer living or watching his child grow up. It was the whole "For whom the bell tolls" complex. They were lamenting at their own immortality as well as the loss of the future experiences THEY would have had with him and the love THEY would have felt. Love can be a very selfless thing but at the bottom of it, self is the root word, which is why I didn't feel anything but the rain poking at my exposed patches of pale skin in contrast to the black. I didn't feel anything.
To this day I don't remember the color of his coffin or who carried the casket. What I do remember is the soft, muddy ground that bent under my feet and the only hill that seemed high enough to catch all that damn rain. My grandma's friend, a dear sweet lady- scratch that, I was never much of an idealist anyway- a rude, selfish idiot who chased the limelight of any situation like she was a damn mosquito on a summer night, put her hand on a shoulder that tensed before her fingers ever curved around it. I didn't look back. Only I knew who was sober enough and stupid enough to do that. The legal members of my family were, to put it plainly, treated with the proper doses of alcohol to keep them functional during the family apocalypse and the ones who were sober knew me well enough not to touch me to get an emotional reaction. I was never a gold mine for drama even when I should be.
Anyways, she put her hand on my shoulder in vain and said something trite and equally pointless like You have not cried all week. You should show your true feelings. What I wanted to say was alright and tell her where to stick that bony-ass hand but I didn't. I just watched my uncle's body lowered into the ground quietly and stared down at the green felt floor of the tent the preacher stood in and waited for the moment to absolve itself. As soon as my obligations both to my uncle and family were fulfilled, I climbed back into the car and let my muscles relax.
We drove down the hill and into the street and I didn't look back. I never have. It's not that I won't or can't. Quite simply, it's that I don't. I loved my uncle when he was alive. I love to hear stories about him and I would defend him or his addiction to the ground over anybody that saw themselves fit to judge. But I don't go visit his grave and I rarely cry. The whole thing for me was a nightmare and I numbed myself to get through it and now I look back on it like a dream. It can't hurt me anymore so why be afraid? I'm not afraid of death and my uncle is already gone. Nothing I can do. His body is in the hole on the hill, not his soul. Going up there and sitting on it, pouring my heart out, enduring the rain on some solitary night, will be more like speaking to the ground than him. He's not there. He never was there. Why do people think it is right to memorialize lively people with a stone? He was never dull as a rock so why use that to remind the world of his existence?
I know he lived. I know I at one point loved him and sometimes miss him. But I want to go to his favorite restraunt or hideout, not where they keep his body. They might as well have preserved it in a morgue and put him in a casket in the wall in a mausoleum. Just because it has trees, grass, flowers, and rolling hills doesn't mean it will bring him back or make him feel better. People do those things to make themselves feel better. When they say It's ok. He is in a better place, they want visual proof. I don't need that anymore. The fairytale is gone for me. Prince Charming doesn't live and he doesn't save you. He dies. People do that. They are human. You don't blame them and you don't turn them into gods. Prince Charming trades his sword in for a shroud and you forgive him. And then you either join him out of pining and depression or you save yourself.