Last night I placed a new Canadian flag at Kevin’s grave. It’s the first one to go next to his placed stone. When I arrived, they were finalizing a funeral for a man who I have known forever in my home church. His grave was just behind Kevin’s, and as I walked towards Kevin’s grave, I was reminded of those feelings of when I first walked that path to his grave, with his casket not yet buried.

That feeling is not one we want to be reminded of; the same feeling I felt as I walked to my grandfather’s grave just 6 months after Kevin died. He was buried just two spots from Kevin. The feeling is the same each and every time. A gnawling in the pit of your stomach, a want to vomit, cry, and disintegrate all at once.

His daughter came down the path and we chatted a bit. She reminded me of me about two years ago: putting on the face, talking about the other things that needed to be done, unaware that she was numb. She was one of the main caretakers: that’s such a tough role. You lose that companionship that you didn’t know you could handle 24/7.

I dug a spot for his new flag, covered it with the toughened dry soil and stomped it in. I brushed away the dirt, the soot that was beginning to cover his stone. I didn’t think much about the fact that Kevin’s body lie there. I thought more about missing him.

He’s not there. He’s in my heart, and that’s how it should be. Dirt can cover many things, but inside it’s all the same. His memory is still with me and I am excited to continue to put that onto paper so that all can read of the great and wonderful things I remember about him.

For me personally, the dirt is being brushed away, and inside I’m refining myself. Those rough edges are being smoothed out, and it’s just me here.

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