The time is close to midnight as we drive through the open gates of the graveyard. The place is as dark as someone would imagine, the only light visible is the one gleaming through my car’s headlights. Deciding to keep it that way, the two of us head off to seek a grave, leaving behind the car with its engine running. As odd the timing would seem to be, it is appropriate for us, for the day is special.
We walk along this paved path, surrounded by hundreds of tombstones. Other than that of a thousand crickets, there is no sound. It feels as if we can almost hear our own hearts beating. We don’t feel vulnerable, we don’t see fear, for we’re already in the company of hundreds of asleep bodies. Without a single exchange of dialogue, we continue to walk with our phones lighting up the rest of the path as the light from the vehicle fades behind us.
A couple of turns and we’re finally here. Regardless of the several tombstones around, we face no trouble spotting the one we came in the middle of the night to visit. Now that we’ve stopped walking, we contribute to the silence as we sit next to the grave for a brief period of time; after all, our presence is the best we can offer for a birthday gift, or what we can offer at all.
A few more moments of deafening silence and we stand up. We’re already on our way back to the car. Without a single word as we’re halfway there, we cease for a moment. We turn around and stare at our surroundings. It is so quiet out here, quiet as despair. And in this moment do we realize that even death carries character. I guess that’s what it feels like-to be dead-perhaps one day we’ll find out ourselves, once we join them. But for now, the obligation has been fulfilled, the deed has been done and now it’s time to head home.