19 - So Long And Goodnight
The ground squished beneath their feet as the five men made their way slowly to the cemetery gates.
Gerard's thought whirled of the last time he had been here, he had yelled at his Grandmother, he had screamed at her. He had felt such anger and pain. His hands trembled as he curled them tightly and pushed them into his pockets. Beside him, his brother wrapped his arms around himself and tried to blink away a mixture of tears and rain.
Slowly, the cemetery was filled as relatives, family, and friends entered the muddy ground and surrounded the the casket. There was a mournful silence as they watched the ebony, polished wood be lowered into the ground, the top slowly fading from view as it was placed into the deep hole.
The brothers watched in agony as a part of themselves was placed in the ground with their Grandmother. They could feel a part of their heart splinter and go to lay beside the coffin. That piece would always stay with her, would always love her. That piece that would always stay with her, no matter where she was.
Almost hesitantly, they stepped forward. The five men walked in a single line as they made their way to the pile of dirt placed beside the grave. Gerard couldn't tear his eyes from the site as he faintly placed his hand into the soil and grabbed a handful. Tears suddenly blinded him as he stepped to the edge of the hole and extended his hand before him. Gently it fell from his palm and made a low thud when it hit the coffin.
The younger Way pulled a small handful from the pile and stepped up beside his brother. Carefully he placed his hand over the coffin and let the soil tumble onto the smooth wood. He watched as it settled onto the polished top and then he lowered his hand and entwined it with his brothers.
Around them Frank, Ray, and Bob followed their lead and grabbed their own handful before stepping beside them and letting the dirt fall into the hole. A small pile of earth atop the lid. After another pause, for just a moment or so, they turned away, not able to keep their eyes on the treacherous truth that lay in the ground. The brother's stayed beside the disturbed ground, letting their gazes take in the way the soil settled upon the polished wood. It stained it in muddy streaks as droplets of rain sneaked past the canopy and soaked through the soil.
Their family and relatives walked up beside then and placed their own handfuls of land into the hole and then turned away, their eyes not lingering on the coffin before tears could begin to spill. Still the brothers stood, their muddy hands clasped together as slowly the crowd dwindled, people not wanting to linger around this place that writhed with sadness, and pain.
Finally, they shifted just the slightest bit, before they managed to tear their gaze from the coffin. They turned to each other, their eyes filled with sorrow that spilled down their cheeks in crystal tears. Then they were enfolded in each other's arms. For a second it was just the two of them and then slowly more arms wrapped around them and their friends were there. As a group they mourned, their thoughts drifting to the heavens, lingering on Elena, missing her, wishing she'd come back. They wished that she hadn't gone in the beginning, that she could have stayed for a while longer.
Yet still they mourned. They missed her, and as much as they wanted her back, she was gone. That much was clear, she was gone, but they would always remember her.
Their fallen friend, their fallen family. Their fallen Grandmother.
They would always remember Elena.