Wednesday, September 17, 2008


My mother and I got out of the van and looked at a plot of ground.

No, not good. Not enough shade.

We got into the van and were taken a little ways down a peaceful drive. I got out, still holding my morning coffee and the folder of papers that I began carrying with me yesterday. Mom and I looked at another plot of land.

No, too out in the open. Too stark.

We went around the corner in that van. I left my folder in the vehicle and gazed at a majestic oak nearby. A few browned leaves littered the ground, signaling that fall was imminent.

I looked at another plot, then turned away. Walking toward the oak, I gave in to my grief. Tears streamed down my face. I sobbed.

This was the spot, the place where my brother would be buried.

My brother, who a week ago was taking off on vacation on his motorcycle with his lovely fiancée-to-be. My brother, the optimist, the outgoing man who could bring out even the shiest, most reticent person. My brother, full of joy and life, who had a ready smile and a way with people. My dear, dear brother…

The sun shone and the day was warm. He would have enjoyed this day.

Oh, Greg, I never thought that I’d have to bury you! I never expected I’d stand by your grave someday. Oh, my dear brother, I thought that you would outlive me, your older sister! You were in such good health, had so much vigor, so much to give, so much of your life still ahead! My dear brother, how I’ll miss you!

Greg, I’ll take good care of your gravesite. We shared a passion for gardening, and yours, my brother, will be a lovely site with hostas and spring bulbs and many forget-me-nots from my garden. They will be watered with tears.

My dear brother, it will be very, very hard to stand by your gravesite when we bury you in a few days.

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)