I went to the cemetery yesterday.
During summertime, the cemetery shows movies on Fairbanks Lawn, where we had Lena’s funeral service. There’s a photo of Lena taken the first time she attended a movie there. She looks happy, relaxed, leaning back in a lawn chair – not far from where she is now buried. Her friends still go to the cemetery screenings and sometimes slip past security (cemetery access is restricted on movie nights) to visit Lena’s grave, which is why I went to the cemetery yesterday. Not to see the film. I went much earlier, in daylight, to prepare Lena’s grave to be seen by her friends.
Lena’s sister complained to me earlier in the week that because there is no marker or statue or other embellishment at the gravesite, Lena’s friends think we don’t care. I try to figure out what it is they think we don’t care about by having failed to make a traditional show at the place my daughter’s body rots. I am aware of the drama inherent in the previous statement. Similar, I imagine, to the outrage Lena’s friends must feel when at the end of their solemn pilgrimage to “visit” her, they are greeted graveside not by the breathtaking monument they would expect to be erected in memory of their beloved friend, not even by a simple gravestone bearing her name, but by the same, cemetery issue stake that was stuck in the ground the week after she was buried, a white card attached bearing Lena’s name and plot number.