The funeral was over. She was gone. Col stood apart.
We are here for you, the strangers said, taking his hands. He blinked away more tears. Everyone was saying the same. We mourn for you. We feel for you. We are here for you.
The bright Halloween sun gave no warmth. The graveyard was shades of green, each darker than the other. Nearby, mourners. In the distance, crows.
Thank you, he said, and tried subtly to let go of their hands.
No Col, one said, their firm cool grip gently tightening. We are here for you.
His heart slowed. Together they walked away.