November 1

Day of the Dead

 

These are the children’s graves.

We did the right thing, treating them the same as adults.  We held funerals, lowered coffins into the ground or placed them in mausoleums, put up tombstones or other markers.

Did all this, even though there wasn’t much time.  And there were so many.

Tonight is the night we would normally honor the youngest among our dead.  Recent events have made that expectation more difficult.

The bodies interred here aren’t developed enough.  Some were so young, they barely had fingernails.  How could you expect them to scratch through fabric and wood and six-feet of earth?

Even the older children hadn’t yet developed muscles for such activity.  Reflex and repetition will not be enough:  scratching and tapping and kicking, every desperate movement all too weak and ineffective.

Imagine a five year old trying to pull back the stone door of a mausoleum.  Impossible.

The burden tonight will be on us.  None of them will be able to escape their tombs or coffins.

But they’ll be able to cry.  We’ll hear their cries all night.