It's impossible to find a free burial spot in any Moscow cemetery (the cost is $1,500 and up), so my mom and my aunt, being crafty, found one in Rodniki, a small village on the outskirts of Moscow. She said they sat in the cemetery office until the clerks gave them a free spot just to get rid of them.
I have found the picture online you see above, taken by Илья Емельнов. I have found a whole blog post about Rodnikovskoe cemetery and looked at the trees on Google maps street view, and I felt like I was there. Almost. As I'm typing this, the funeral is scheduled to transpire in a couple hours, with my mom, aunt, and cousin present. My sister is sick.
Grandpa couldn't be read the burial service—отпевание (it's when a priest reads a prayer and sings over the body)—because the time had passed for it. It should typically be performed on the third day, and he has been dead for eight now. Mom is devastated about it, and said that at least he let go of his sins himself in his last conversation with her. Or so she believes.
This is a closure to yet another chapter in my strange family's life. And I don't know how to feel about it. Mostly I feel exhausted. I want to sleep and sleep and sleep and wake up tomorrow refreshed and write and read. And one day, if I happen to visit the grave, I will bring flowers.