A long procession of cars, many with their windows whitewashed “RIP Hector” line both sides of the narrow road deep in the cemetery.
I kneel on the lush grass. Family and friends dressed in black suits and dresses press against me as I try to calm the young woman who thrashes about and cries out “Hector! Hector Te Amo!”
We are on the precipice of the grave. I look down not a foot behind me and see the white casket resting deep in the earth, red roses draped upon it. (It looks a lot further down than six feet).
Mourners fan the woman and bend over her touching her arms and face. Dangling from their necks are the same photo (encased in plastic) — a smiling young man with a backwards baseball cap, loose baggy pants, posed flashing hand signs, looking like he owns the day. “Calma te, Calma te,” they say to her.
I have been told she had a seizure or fit and fell forward striking her head hard on one of the steel bars (they form a rectangle around the grave) that lowered the casket. Thankfully, they grabbed her before she could fall in. They said she was initially unconscious. Now she won’t be still. “Mami! Mami!” she cries. “Mi Hector!”
“No se mueve,” I whisper to her to little effect, as I try to hold her head still, while waiting for my partner to retrieve the c-spine equipment. “No se mueve.”
I look back down at the casket, and then up the wall of the brown earth, the living grass line, the dancing photos of Hector, and up to the circle of light blue above the leaning heads. What a beautiful clear day. The sky seems to rise forever.