Window Dressing

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The mourners filed from the cemetery, somber and solitary for all that they were together in a group. Behind them, the raw dirt peeked from beneath its faux green carpet, waiting only for the last one to disappear before being uncovered and dumped back into the hole from which it came.

On rainy days, the parade of black umbrellas was a notable difference, but everything else remained the same. The solemnity, the slowing down.

The little boy peering from his window on the other side of the fence watched them all. His mother hated it, couldn’t bear the thought that her precious little one was obsessed with the morbid, with the ruthlessness of death.

But she didn’t understand, and he was still too young to have the words to explain to her how it wasn’t the dead that fascinated him so, but the living. He watched the people who came to each and every funeral. He watched for their loves and their lives. He watched them comfort each other and refuse comfort offered.

From them, he learned to care, not just for those he knew and loved, but for everyone.

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