Today I saw the child looking into the eyes of death and sorrow.
I saw him standing there, between his grandmother and his father; I saw how he turned from one to the other to see if there were tears.
Later, he sat in the pew before mine, motionless, quiet. He listened to the orchestra playing »Jesus bleibet meine Freude«.
Once in a while, he picked up the small bouquet of roses and smelled it.
Once in a while, without looking, he reached out his little hand to stroke his father’s cheek. and I saw, for a brief moment, his father leaning into the child’s hand, with the full weight of his sadness.
Once he turned around suddenly, he brought his small head close to mine and whispered, »Mama. You and I are the only ones who didn’t get to say goodbye.«
At the grave he watched the coffin slowly being lowered.
He threw some rose petals in the hole, and some earth.
»It’s only the bones of Opa, right, mama?«, he asked me.
»Yes«, I said, »It’s only the bones«.
The day was almost over. Clouds hung blood red in the sky. The child kept on taking pictures, marvelling at the colours.
He said: »Look, your daddy and mummy are having a party. They have set off fireworks, because Opa arrived home today«.
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