Thursday Threads Week 36

My friend’s husband was buried today.

She’s not my friend – not really. We were classmates once.

Carrie Anne was a sweet girl. Quiet. She liked nature, I remember. Always looking out of the school building windows to the landscape outside. My football buddies used to make fun of her for that.

She found love before any of us did, though.

They’ve lowered the casket into the ground now, the fallen leaves of autumn brittle under our feet. There’s never a good time to bury someone you care about, but somehow I think it must be easier in spring or summer, when the earth gives something back to you – green growing up from where death lays.

The mourners have all left, awkward apologies hanging in the air as they step quietly back into their own lives. Carrie Anne has curled up in front of the hole in the ground, her arms wrapped around her knees. But instead of staring at her husband’s casket, she’s looking up at the trees just as she used to. Maybe she finds some comfort, some reason for everything, by looking up there.

“Nature knows more than the rest of us,” she once told me in Bio class. I remember the guys laughing at her, but she only smiled.

I take a step toward where she sits.

I never stood up for her then.

I will, now.

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