The sky was gray in ambivalence to the procession beneath. Fat drops of rain fell with abandon as the coffin was slowly lowered in the six foot hole. The world was dreary, unwelcoming to light or to color. Even the single rose, crimson petals on the dark wood, was faded in the down pour.
Long after everyone had left, he remained. Standing as the two men in ponchos maneuvered the loose sodden soil back from whence it had came. The low rumble of the tractor masked by the booking thunder above. Just as the mask of tears was indistinguishable from the rain on his cheeks.

He was an oak, battered by the storm. He refused to bend as the sorrow clung to his heart like an anchor threatening to drag him down into the earth. He would allow it. Nothing mattered any longer. The universe was a lie without her light to draw him in. All there was remaining was the cold and the wet. The sun set behind the clouds as the darkness took on a second skin around him. Lights flickered on above the streets but no beam could penetrate the shadow he now wore.

He would have collapsed. Fallen to his knees in the running water. But his bone and muscle had been replaced by jagged spools of razor wire and pitted iron. His face showed no emotion. His eyes had gone out, snuffed like candles in the gale force winds around him. He had become less than a man with every shovelful of dirt. Unfeeling. Unseeing. Unkempt.

Eventually he walked away. But he was well aware of the parts of himself buried in that hole. The things that would always be here. The parts of her that remained with him were like shards of glass pressed against his organs. They pierced his lungs when he struggled to breathe. Tore at his throat if he dared to speak. He would never be whole until he was in a hole of his own. It was simple mathematics, carved across his mind in neon gore. All that remained of existence was the memory of her.

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