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I am at a funeral. I do not know who is being buried. I see the coffin lowered into the ground. The pallbearers wear long dark coats with tails, their tall hats decorated with white bands. I stand some distance away. The mourners, dressed in formal wear, do not notice me, I am not part of their grief. I simply observe, from my vantage point, the passing of a life. This is how it is. This is how it should be. Some think they require celebration. Some think they deserve a ‘party’. This is how it should be: the body interred, in the allotted place. It is no ceremony. Some mourners are crying. This is how it is. A woman, dressed in black, her black veil lifted from her face, is crying. There is the sound of sobbing. Another woman comforts the first. Their grief is obvious. The men, stoic, resolute, stand apart from the women. Their hands are crossed in front of them, their heads bowed. The coffin dips from sight, into the ground. A tidy hole. The grave-digger has earned his fee. A neat, deep hole, in which to bury a body. That is not easy. The turf must be broken, with a spade. A sharp, even blade, well-maintained. Everything must be in order: the spade: the blade; turf; soil. Digging should be done on a dry day. After rain, or a judicious watering. The craft is similar to that of tending a golf-course, or a bowling green. It requires planning. A funeral requires planning. For the one event that cannot be planned. Once the turf is cut by the spade, it must be taken away. It is not gardening. There, the turves may be buried themselves, in a deeper spit, aside the first. The grass will rot, in time, providing food for new roots. I am not a gardener. When I dig, the turf is taken away. There is a barrow. I am careful not to spill soil on the grass. The hole must be clean. For the coffin. The sides of the hole must be firm. For the pallbearers. The surrounding turf must be clear. For the mourners. That is how it is. This is how it should be. A funeral is not a death. A funeral is a ritual. I remember the dead. From my vantage point. I think about the death. I believe in the ceremony of the passing. My part is to provide the hole. I keep my spades sharp. That is up to me. It is my responsibility. So, it will be, until the day I am lowered into the ground. In a hole dug for me.