The Rev. Laura Buchanan Ahart walked past the grave, directly to the dead man’s mother. She wrapped her arms around the crying woman, spoke to her, and held her for a long time. When she let go, the dead man’s father was waiting. Ahart looked at him, bopped him on the head, and then gave him the same kind of hug.
Moments earlier, she had said prayers over the body of their 20-year-old son as he was lowered into the snow-covered ground at Mattapan’s Oaklawn Cemetery.