The Last Point

I bore my corner of the casket with dignity, despite the sweltering Nevada heat. The ground around the open grave was broken and uneven.

Our plan involved lowering the casket gently into the grave with long straps, like a whale in a cradle. As we moved into position, one side of the pit collapsed, causing the only non-family member helping to teeter on the edge. Uncle Vernon grabbed him before he could fall in. The casket seemed to dive head-first into the grave and landed with two heavy thuds, just like in the movies.

I will never forget those sounds.

There was a moment of shocked silence which was very different than the previous morose silence. The caretaker apologized repeatedly, while my family kept reassuring him that it was fine, typical even. In death, she had struck back at her family one last time. She was able to be the center of attention and spread just a little more misery and guilt before she left our lives for good. The last point goes to Grandma. Good game.

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