I move my hands across the dark green tips of the thyme plants that are clustered together in the herb bed, until their sweet scent greets my nose. I sweep my hand lower and let my fingers play in the plant, until an off-white grasshopper pops up, then lies still. He is dead. I pick him up and examine him. He is thin and light, like he is made of sheer fabric. His skeleton has long back legs, that once had the strength to make him spring into quick action. I turn him over and touch a delicate small white wing, that helped him once fly away from danger and toward nourishment.
Did the puffy thyme plant become a comfortable bed for him to die on? Was its sweet lemony scent the last thing he smelled? Was his last image seeing himself hop across the grey velvety sage to nibble on the basil plant nearby, or was it remembering watching his babies be born?
I hold his perfect form in my hand, feeling a kind of reverence. I look at the spot where I found him, clear some space in the soil, dig a small hole, gently place him inside, and slowly sprinkle dirt over him. I stare and feel unable to leave right away. My jaw is tight and my eyebrows frown, like my body needs a better ending that it can’t find. I know this is just a grasshopper, but my ex-boyfriend died recently, and I am slogging through the slow mud of grief. I stand at this grave I have made and say:
I need you to be happy here, in your final resting place. I know your body, and the dirt, and the thyme, in time, will all blend. I need you to be happy here, until you are lost in the wash of re-formation into new growth. But I am not ready for new growth, not yet. I just need to know, that any turmoil you carried in your soul is over. I need to know that the last thing you touched was something that soothed you, allowed your spirit to rise on thin white wings, and flutter into the heavens, frail yet full of peace.