Shivering under the flimsy blue tarp, pressing in to share each others warmth, we uttered the timeless words of the Apostles Creed. Snow threatening to spill over our boot tops, each breath hanging suspended in the air and tears freezing on our cheeks, we watched as they lowered the rich pecan wood casket into the recently thawed ground. The gloomy, low hanging clouds, chill wind and tiny snowflakes seemed to capture the dreariness of our sad task perfectly. Nature playing out our emotions. I heard the sniffs and stifled crying of the bereaved. It was hard to fully enter into the reality of the moment because of the stark -stripped bare-punch you in the gut- weather. How easily distracted I am, I thought. Forcing myself to focus, I bowed my head and prayed with the Pastor as we committed mom’s body to the earth. I wanted to linger there, at the graveside. But I’m weak and my toes were cold and I didn’t have a hat. Isn’t it amazing that even in the face of a once in a lifetime event of laying a parent (or parent in law) to rest, we’re still acutely aware and affected by the elements? At a moment of deep grief, all I could think of was warmth and comfort and getting out of the pain and harshness of sub-zero temps. Hmmm.
Freshly painted in my mind’s eye, I mentally entitled the scene Frailty.