A Beautiful Burial

Goldie rests in peace on Yule Love It Lavender Farm
I followed Mel and his shovel down the hill to the hen house. Our footsteps left tracks in the sparkling dew—a beautiful morning for Goldie’s burial. Now we’re down from five girls to two.
                  Several weeks ago, Mel found Blondie, our diva, and Blackie, our wise one, mutilated on the chicken side of their house. The following day, I spied a family of mink along our road not half a mile west of us.
                  Mel repaired the hole where the vandals broke into their pen, but we know his fix with zip ties and leftover metal shelving is not sufficient for the mink’s cunning instinct. We’ve searched without success for a metal fence equal to our bloodthirsty enemy. Meanwhile, we close the house’s chute before dusk and lift it after sunrise.
                  Goldie limped after the mink’s attack and didn’t range too far with Silver and Brownie, her fellow survivors. We fed our injured hen garden scraps and tomato worms. We assisted her into the house before dusk.
                  The high-strung sister, Goldie lay in peace behind the galvanized grain can in the hen house. Several of our hens have entered their final rest in that hallowed corner.
                  No matter how you prepare to let a loved one go, the severing of death is a stark and harsh reality. Our sweet girl we cared for rain or shine no longer stood on her feet and talked to us.
                  “Goldie, you put up a good fight,” Mel said.
                  In peace and privacy, Mel dug Goldie’s grave in our hen cemetery behind my vintage camper. I turned a terracotta pot upside down and placed a rock on top for a monument. We thanked our hen for her delicious eggs with orange yokes.
                  “Well, another burial behind us,” I said.
                  Mel nodded. “I hope the last for a while.”
                  In that quiet place, we recalled the string of extraordinary people and circumstances that led to the second burial of our firstborn and my father.
                  Unawares, an old friend planted the idea in my mind. She’s the kind who inspires naturally. The possibility of moving our departed from the cemetery hemmed by I75 to a country graveyard nearby grew from passion to fact.
                  “There are plenty plots available,” the township clerk said.
                  The certificates for our lots arrived in the mail within three days of purchase. The cost was fraction of the mammoth commercial business where we buried our daughter twenty-two years ago under the shock of grief.
                  Kevin Lynch of Lynch & Sons Funeral Home in Oxford assisted me with legal matters, which were several. For instance, a funeral director must witness disinterment of a vault and verify the name on the cover. My husband and I joined Kevin and also confirmed the names.
                  Dear Reader, on a breezy June day last year we buried my father and our eldest daughter again. Today, customized monuments stand in testimony of their place on this earth and in our hearts.
                  We visit their graves in peace and privacy—comfort one another in their beautiful burial.