Normally, I would say cemetery, but today I will use a more unpalatable word, GRAVEYARD!
The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, “a place, often next to a church, where dead people are buried.”
I spend lots of time here. Somehow, I find solace and peace in the midst of pain. Somehow, my moments of great anxiety are calmed and eased as I sit in the place where the shell of my daughter’s body remains.
On one of those visits…
I see a handful of people sitting under that “dreaded” green canopy. Those chairs…they make your already achy body feel even more stiff and unsure. That green “carpet”…really?!?! Why? Is all this to make an otherwise unnatural setting look a bit more, don’t know, natural? Would it be better to keep it “natural”? Would that make the process easier? Yeah, probably not!
I wonder what makes for the size of the gathering? Popularity or can it be that this family wants a private moment, with their loved one, to say goodbye? Brings back to mind past experiences. The onlookers, the huge crowd, the whispers…my mind all over the place. At times, having been told “not to cry”, holding my breath until I would pass out. Another time, everything in me wanted to run…to never stop running. The crowd, the accusatory looks, more whispers, the looks of disdain.
Many experiences, each with its own story. However, NOTHING ever prepared me for the day I would sit before a beautiful white casket which held part of my heart. Yanked, torn, pulled apart! Can one ever be prepared for such a gut wrenching departure? I think not!!!
Sitting, standing, knowing what’s next. Realizing that eventually that white container, with such precious cargo, will be lowered down into that cold, damp dirt.
Stomach tight and heavy as rocks. Chest heavy, unyielding, yet ever so full of an ache that threatens to explode into a cry that will shatter every glass house…that will never end. The sobs, the wails, yet nothing calms the reality of an absence that is so deep within my soul. This side of heaven, this is my reality…this is my journey.
How? Why? Who invented this torturous process? Can it be done any other way? No! The pain is the pain no matter how kosher the process. There is no way of making “this” look pretty. Hey, maybe, we could all sit or stand like statutes – emotionless, unyielding? Maybe, we could make everyone around us think “this is normal”, “everything is ok”? Yup, no! Been there, done that…know the drill…it doesn’t work!
The “duct-tape” has been yanked off! Reality…feeling it all is much better than the alternative.
I have learned that grief is another name for love. ~ author unknown
It is impossible to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have. ~ Cheryl Strayed