The end of June in Paris. Mireille accompanies her friend Thomas, a solitary and restless being, during a walk to Père Lachaise. Thomas is very agitated, worried. He confides to Mireille that he wishes to be cremated in the event of death.
September. After a period of holidays, Mireille returns home. She and her friends have not been able to contact Thomas. She learns that he died in August, alone. As he has no family, his body was interred in the square of the needy in the new cemetery of Thiais.
Mireille wants to honor the last wills of her friend, but the law is strict: to dig up the body and cremate it, the services of the city hall have to have the signature from a member of Thomas's family. Mireille learns that Thomas had a younger brother, Melchior. But the young man, marginalized, abandoned for years by his older brother, refuses to sign the licence to dig him up. Mireille goe to the village where Melchior lives to tryand convince him.