I think Maami died today. Two years ago. Three or four. She died.
Her daughter could not reach on time for the funeral. It was too short a notice to come from London leaving behind two young kids. She said that the family should not wait and bury her mother.
It was an unexpected death. Her younger daughter had called me from the hospital and said, "Can you imagine?" She kept repeating the question. Sobbing. This was one time my imagination failed me.
Her sister arrived the next day. She did not have the will or energy to accept condolences. She took a shower and went straight to the door. She wanted to visit the kabristan. Her brother would drive her. Someone asked me to go along.
It was evening but not yet sundown. My cousin knelt down and in a burst of emotion she began scraping off mud from the still fresh grave. She grabbed clumps of it as though some trace of her mother would be there. How could we stop her? She must have wanted to see her. Touch her cold body. See the eyes and mouth one last time. Listen to a heart that beat no more.
She could not do any of those. So she scraped mud. It is soil that gives life. After many minutes, she took out her book and started reading out the prayers, sitting on the floor where ants circled like mourners.
I did not wish to break her reverie so I moved to the stone bench. I looked up at the sky as it burned orange. My eyes felt like embers.
We watered the grave as we would a plant.
Maybe nothing really dies. I can imagine that.