© Copyright 2006 - Wendy Belltolls - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/f; buried; death; cons; XXX
They had diagnosed the cancer in June. Unfortunately by that point it was too late, operation could only reduce the tumour, and by November Joanne and her husband Geoff had to face the news that she had mere months left to live.
Joanne and Geoff had been together for eight years. They fell in love while both at university and married soon after graduation. In the intervening years they had had a happy if childless marriage, they had bought a cottage in the country from which they both commuted into town, where they both held good jobs. But the news of Joanne's impending demise had shattered their world to its foundations.
It was in bed soon after that Joanne made the ultimate request of her husband's love for her. She had stated plainly that they both knew she was dying, and that there was not much time left, but before she went she wanted two last requests.
"First of all, I want my last weekend to be special. I want it to be just the two of us, in our home. We will cook a special meal, dress elegantly and have the most romantic, passionate weekend possible", she explained.
"I'd like that too", replied Geoff, "but how can we know which will be your last weekend? It's not that precise a science".
Joanne took a deep breath.
"That's my second request", she continued. "I don't want to fizzle out in agony, not knowing which day will be my last. I want to know, I want to get it over with. Besides, there's something I've dreamt about, something I've fantasised of for a long time. And as I see it, this is the chance I've been dealt to finally experience it for real".
Geoff looked shocked.
"You mean your fantasy involves being killed?" he asked nervously.
"Well, yes", said Joanne. "Up until now it was always just a dream, the thrill was in the waking from dreaming of the final reality… but now I'm forced to face death head on anyway it's taken a different dimension."
"My fantasy is to be buried alive. Not interred accidentally in a coffin, but to deliberately lie down in a freshly dug grave and to have the earth shovelled on top of me, burying me totally. And I want it to be you that does it, my love. Our life together has been so fantastic, and I know it's a lot to ask of you, but I would like nothing better than to have you dispatch me into the earth. Please will you do this for me?"
Geoff thought hard about his words as he considered his response. Finally he spoke.
"Joanne, you are the most wonderful and courageous person I have ever known. I love you with all my heart, there is nothing I would not do for you, and even if that includes committing a felony and taking a life, I would go to prison for a thousand years or face any executioner known to this world rather than refuse your wish. Are you sure this is what you want?"
"It is," said Joanne, "it is. And thank-you, there is no greater gift than your love for me to take with me".
They set the date for the final weekend the following Spring. Joanne tied up all her affairs, before the set date they went on a final holiday together, before returning for what was to be their last weekend together on this earth.
The morning after arriving back at the cottage, the Saturday morning of the final weekend, they awoke early and breakfasted well before heading out into the garden. In a favourite spot of Joanna's, enclosed by trees and shrubs, together they dug the grave that would be Joanna's final resting place. Geoff was nervous but strong, determined to honour the final wishes of his wife, while Joanna was in a strangely playful mood. It occurred to her that choosing the exact time and manner of her death was a luxury enjoyed by very few to say the least; she had long since come to terms with her mortality and no longer feared death, in fact the idea of digging her own grave seemed like a game.
Having completed the six-foot deep hole, they returned inside and bathed together in a deep, warm oily bath. After getting out, they got dressed as if preparing for the most exclusive party ever. They both wore evening dress; Joanne had picked out a sumptuous silk gown in red and black for the occasion. They went out to a local gourmet restaurant where they enjoyed a superb meal before returning for their final night of passion. The sex was the fullest and most passionate they had ever enjoyed. Knowing that it would be their final night together enflamed them so that they made love until they fell asleep together after three hours, totally exhausted.
The following morning, after they'd showered and breakfasted, Joanne took out the clothes she had chosen to be buried in; given the circumstances there were none more appropriate than her wedding dress. Geoff had dressed more functionally for the practical job of filling in a six-foot hole on his own, in simple boots, trousers and sweater. His heart was pounding as Joanne emerged from the bedroom looking every bit as radiant and lovely as she had the day they were married. He worried he might not have the nerves to go through with the grim task he had accepted, but was reassured by a kiss from his wife and a soft whisper. "Be strong, my Love, do this for me".
They made their way out to the garden, to the place where they had dug the grave the previous day. They exchanged a final, passionate kiss before Joanne gathered up the skirts of her wedding gown and Geoff helped her climb down into the grave. This done, she lay back in the soft mud, straightening out her dress as she did so, and blew Geoff a playful kiss.
Geoff took a moment to compose himself. How Joanne could be so damn cheerful about the whole thing was beyond him, although it occurred to him that had she not really wanted this they would not be doing it. He was hoping she would leap up, say the whole thing was a test of their love, they would embrace and forget the whole thing, but he had made a promise and had to go through with it, to say goodbye to the woman he loved the most.
Reluctantly he tipped in the first shovelful of earth. Joanne giggled as it hit her torso, the dirt scattering across her as it did so. With each shower of earth she smiled more broadly, wriggling about as it formed a light covering over the pure white of her wedding dress and shouted encouragements for Geoff to keep on going. She relished in the feeling of the weight on her torso and the full skirts of her dress gradually increasing and the feeling of the earth gradually piling up around her head and body. Before long she was almost completely buried, only her face, the billowing skirts of her dress and the tips of her feet and breasts were still visible. Geoff was finding it harder to keep going, but Joanne kept encouraging him.
"Please, my Love, be strong, don't let me down now", she pleaded.
"Please say you don't really want to go through with this", said Geoff. "I can't bear to see you go".
"Geoff, you agreed", said Joanne. "Please, I really am 100% serious. Bury me, if you chicken out on me now I shall never forgive you."
Geoff reluctantly threw in another shovelful of earth.
"Geoff, please.. for me?"
Remembering his promise, Geoff steeled himself and continued shovelling. Before long, only Joanne's face was visible, surrounded by earth. He looked down, hoping once more for her to suddenly announce after all it was not for real, that she didn't really want to be buried alive. Instead, her words were; "Farewell, my Love, and thank-you… thank-you for everything!"
With that she closed her eyes and prepared herself for the end. With tears in his eyes, Geoff delivered the final shovelfuls to cover over her face and bury his wife completely.
As she felt the earth fall on her face, Joanne was at peace. She was leaving the world on her own terms, by the hand of the one she loved most dearly, who in turn was granting her the most difficult gift she could have asked for. She began to hold her breath as she felt the earth begin to roll into her nostrils and the weight on her face gradually increasing. She held her breath for a couple of minutes before finally she could do so no more, her final gasps sucked in only earth and moments later there was nothing.