The funeral for the matriarch of a family is today. Actually it is a Memorial Service since she was cremated and her ashes will already be interred in the ground (my friend said the word now is 'inerred' if the ashes are being put in the ground, but I couldn't find that in a dictionary anywhere).
The cemetary is in my side yard. The church owns it therefore the rules are a bit looser than they might be at a place that is in it solely for the business. For instance, if the hole needed is only for ashes then we do not hire it out at $300 a pop. One of our church leaders will dig it. I have even found myself out there helping (voluntarily).
This time the eldest son of the deceased asked if he could dig it. He is in his 50's and in good shape - still I wanted to make perfectly clear that this was not the family's responsibility. He understood and last night he showed up to dig it.
After I showed him the measurements I left him only returning once to bring out water and make sure he was okay. There are no windows on that side of the manse to see into the cemetary so he had his privacy.
I envied him being able to at least partially work through his grief by doing something physical for his mother.
In this day and age death (along with everything else) has been sanitized to make it more palatable and dare-I-say more marketable. Even the graveside services have temporary canopies, fake green rugs and other ornamentation making it so you really have to look to even find any dirt. For some this is a good thing, but I think for others they end up missing something whether they would be able to actually name it out loud or not.
I am glad at this moment, at this rural church we were able to give a grieving son a way to mourn that made sense to him.