[Original post was from Free Write Friday and it was an image of a man with an axe/hammer/shovel on his hand. Published on Feb, 7 2014]
It was just another day of doing the same thing, it never got better nor did it have a happy ending. I was only hired to bury the dead, mostly the lost and forgotten. I hardly saw any family members when they would bring the caskets to the yard. If I did, they were probably only there to leave to their parties and hear somebody read that family member’s will that evening. I watched the same people bring the caskets in and leave without them, they knew the same sorrow I felt for each and every one person that was buried in this yard. It was always the same, old folks that nobody cared about anymore. They were glad that they were gone and their belongings would be auctioned off like cattle in the old days. When it was youngsters and babies, it took a lot out of us just to get through the service. It was the same six people, the pastor, the two men who bring the caskets to the yard, and a mid-aged woman by the name of Lisa she was a “nun”, she always came whenever we had to bury a child. She would be the one to grief for them as nobody else was there show their support for them. She wasn’t a real nun, but she cared more about these people than the ones who came to leave with a smile on their faces. It was such a tragic to bury them, especially when they were on the “Jane/John Doe” list.
On days where the sun was away and let the rain escape from the clouds, those were always a sign from the angels that God was crying for the lost souls. It was always a sign that we’d have to bury children more than adults. So many stories from each one carried with them until the last specks of dirt entered their place. I know it was never my place to ask where they were from, but I always had to know what little was always known about them. The three kids we buried today came in Lisa and her intern, as she was to leave for two weeks for vacation. Every time she left for a couple of weeks, she tried to hire somebody to take over her duties and come in and show that they cared for them even though they never met them in their lives. She would bring them to a funeral and have them experience it with all of us. A normal person would go to the showing and then go to the yard to give them their last goodbyes with their friends and families, but since these people never had anybody to care for them, it was always harder to get through for the newbies. It didn’t matter how much Lisa explained to them about how everything is going to go, they usually feel more sorrow like a widow would if her husband died and he was getting buried before her own eyes. Lisa would pay for the tombstones and give them a name with the last name of “Smith.”
First of the day, was a young girl by the name of “Alyssa” and we were never granted access to see these kids faces like at a showing, but we were allowed to stay and pray that their souls will find peace in heaven. I always tried to imagine their faces, how they grew up, did they ever smile? Lisa spoke to the men who dragged the white-painted casket, they painted the children’s coffins white to show that they were still pure in the eyes of God. She showed her intern the layout of the yard and directed the men to their places to go ahead and put the casket inside the deep hole that already had an inch of water inside, the dry dirt became mud and was hard to walk in. The men had lost their balance a couple of times and almost dropped the casket on the ground. Since it was an orphan, the caskets didn’t come with locks on the sides like normal caskets did to make sure the funeral directors don’t get sued for their loved ones falling out just before heading inside their graves. Luxury wasn’t in the books for the ones who deserved it the most. Pastor Mark walked over to me and gave me a brief talk about the girl we were sadly burying today. He told me, that the medical examiner gave an estimate that she was probably fifteen years old, she was abused by a man in her old neighborhood and she carried the burden of the incident with her that she started self harming herself and taking pills to get rid of the pain inside. After a couple of overdoses and not completing rehab, her parents just gave up on her and here she was to lay to rest. Her family no longer cared for their daughter anymore because of something that happened so long ago.
The next child was another girl, but according to Lisa and her sobbing intern Amy, she was born a boy. Lisa explained to me that when she was little, her father caught her wearing her mother’s high heels, makeup, and jewelry. The father went into a rage and was never supportive in his child’s life. Her mother was there, standing next to Lisa and Amy, crying over the loss of her the daughter she never had. When the men lowered the casket into the ground and the pastor continued on with his serum. All three women continued to sob over the life that was taken by a father not being able to understand a child’s mind. Amy told me that the young child’s name was originally “Claude” after her great-grandfather on her father’s side and after continuing on experimenting with dressing in women’s clothes and taking pills and thinking of having surgeries to fix everything to make her look more like a woman. She had a close bond with her mother, but the father was still not into the idea that his only son wanted to turn into a girl. So he took matters into his own hands and murdered her after she announced that she wanted to be called “Claudia” for the rest of her life. Her father was being sentenced to jail for the murder of this innocent person. Claudia was only seventeen years old.
The last child was a little boy that nobody knew about, he was three days old. The only information that both the pastor and Lisa were told was that the mother of the little boy was still in high school. She was scared to give birth to him and by the time she finally found out she was pregnant, it was too late to get it aborted. She apparently tried everything to miscarry the child, but he was a fighter while in the womb. She covered up her growing belly with jackets and even her boyfriend didn’t even know about the child. When she gave birth, her teacher at the school called the nurse and she had him in the back room in the nurse’s office. When the baby was born, the nurse raised him up to her and she didn’t cry tears of joy, she cried tears of angst. She started screaming and yelling at the nurse to “kill him” and the nurse was concerned for the baby after she got up from the small bed and attempted to punch it in the head when it started to cry for her. The other students had to hold her back and somebody called the police. She was arrested and the child welfare took custody of the little unnamed boy, but after being in the care of some nice people, the baby started acting strange and died in its sleep. When the nurse got word of this and found out he had died from the mother drinking alcohol while she was pregnant, he started crying. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did. The nurse named him, “Daryl” as she didn’t want him to be called “John Doe” on his tombstone.
Each one had a story to tell, even though those stories could have continued on if there were more people who showed they cared about them. Going home after the workday, I hug my family and friends a little tighter than I normally would. Every person I see walking on the sidewalk at night wearing clothes that showed more skin than they should especially when there is half melted snow still on the ground. I always wonder if the little kids that my grandkids hang out with, how are their families? Do they get enough to eat? Do they feel loved? I never want anyone that comes around me to feel like I don’t care about them. I want them to feel like I was the highlight of their day or life. Every person should do everything in their power to show that they care about the people around them. You should never bash that person and always tell them that they are beautiful. Be their friend always and forever, be that person they don’t have in their lives already. Be their inspiration to do and be better.