The Dreaded Cemetery
My dear loss mom and dad, Have you ever struggled with the idea of going to your child’s cemetery? The place where they are sleeping the most peaceful sleep of their lives.
I struggle more than I would like to admit.
At first it was a place of comfort to me.
I thought well, maybe I can still parent my son if I am able to take care of the grass or the stone-
if I can clean the stone off and make it look perfect or cut the blades of grass with a regular scissors. If I can weed out all of the weeds,
if I can spray bug spray to make sure that there’s no insects around. I’ve thought about every single thing that you possibly could in regards to still being connected to my son.
I thought that those things would make me feel more connected with him and for a while, it did.
For a while it really did. But then something happened. Something happened to where it started becoming more difficult for me to go to the cemetery. I would think about how he would look currently and I would think about what I put him in.
The outfit he has on.
His long sleeve white turtle neck with blue jean bibs.
And a Mickey Mouse on the front.
What was supposed to be his first birthday present from his papa Santa and grandma Pookers.
I would think about what other people put in his casket.
I would think about that disintegrating. And then my brain would continue down the road with bad thoughts.
But those are thoughts that are extremely normal.
And believe me,
I hate the word normal. Nothing about this is “normal”. It goes against every normal action and earthly form. But here we are all of us together burying our children. Anyway, the cemetery.
Their spot. The dreaded place that not every parent likes to go. Some days are okay. Others are definitely not. I can think of a certain moment, Where I was pregnant with our rainbow baby and Bo got his stone put in. I sat at the cemetery for an hour, Bawling.
Crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe. Some parents can’t face it at all. And that’s okay too! It’s been about three months
since I have last visited my son at the cemetery and I hate the way that sounds. I hate the way that sounds because it makes me feel like a bad mom. But I know that my son is with me. I know that I carry his heart in my heart. Tucked in there ever so gently. I know that we are together
and that I don’t feel so bad knowing that he’s with me and experiencing things with me.
He’s not separated from the family. He’s not gone, he has just stepped into another room. And that is not something that severs a relationship. My son is still very part much a part of me. He’s very much a part of me because I say so. I made him. I birthed him. I’m his mom. I love him. He is mine. So to the mom and dad that struggle going to the cemetery and struggle staring at their child’s grave stone..... I should really cross out the words- grave stone... because that is just a bad phrase and it hurts my heart. But- If there is a mom or dad out there that, like me,
still struggles with the thoughts of invasiveness and missing your child and not understanding why you don’t want to go see them at the cemetery. Why it doesn’t bring you comfort anymore, you are not alone. I promise you you’re not alone. It is OK to say “I don’t need to go visit him right now” Or “I don’t need To go visit her right now”. They are in my heart, they are in my home, they are very much a part of my life. I am a very firm believer in saying that I have three children. Because I do. Because death does not negate existence. He is still my son and anybody who wants to say that their “disturbed” by this can, in my opinion, go to hell. I work very, very hard trying to keep my sons legacy alive. Creating a nonprofit charity and honoring his name is a full-time job dedicating yourself to multiple other parents at all hours of the day and night.
Because as certain people know,
Those who have gone through it, it changes your whole life. It throws you into a grief tunnel.
It’s like a twilight and you don’t know which way
is up or down or left or right.
You don’t know what is right or wrong.
So when it’s 3 AM and you are devastated and replaying invasive thoughts and memories in your mind.
About the day that you found your child or the day that you let them go. That’s my job. That’s where I step in. I’m here. Here to remind every single parent- Every mother and father that this is NOT their fault.
That they were the best parent that they possibly could be.
That they did everything that they could.
It took me months to choke that down.
Because I hated to hear it.
“I didn’t do everything I could because if I did everything that I could I would’ve saved him.
I could’ve saved him.” But I am not God. And I can’t play God. I can’t claim to be. I’m not in control of everything. I’m not even in control of most things. And my life to be honest with you the only things I can control is my reactions.
I did everything I could.
And my reaction to the cemetery is daunting at times. But that does not make me a bad mom. It makes me a really good mom to try to stay focused on my son and to remember him the way that I need to remember him because that is the way he was. He was full of love. He made a complete stranger feel like best friends with him. And at just 10 months old, he gave me complete joy. And I will not allow grief to swallow that joy. I will not allow grief to steal what is rightfully mine. So on the days that you don’t want to go to the cemetery I say, don’t. You don’t have an obligation to be there because that is not where your child is. Your child is tucked safely in your heart. Yes, your child’s sleeping there. She is blissfully unaware of anything. Because she is sleeping so soundly. You don’t have to go there and torture yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. If anything, it makes a really good one