Swallowed in grief, I look about me and see I have been lost in a reverie. This moment is too piercing. I am at graveside, and the casket has just been lowered. The shovel is lifted by person after person, each struggling to drive its blade into the wet clay and rock, to lift it, to shake its load into the grave, to drive its blade back into the clotted earth.
I pull the shovel out of the muck, then drive it back in with a violent shove. As I lift and throw, I see the casket is open. Horrified, I drop the shovel and it clatters into the open pit .
Swallowed in shock, I open my eyes. I am lying in mud by a gentle stream.