Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I haven't stopped at the cemetery for a long time. Part of it is that I haven't been out much, and frequently when I do get out I have a crying baby who likes motion. Part of it is that Henry's grave was covered with a mound of snow. Part of it is that I'm often not sure what to do when I'm there. It doesn't always feel natural, and in the winter when it is cold and I can't even touch the ground that covers him it often feels even less so.

There have been days I felt compelled to go visit him. I always like to stop on our way out of town and on the way back if we are going away for any length of time. I bring flowers and we water them through the spring and summer. Twice though, they were taken, which made Brian angry and me deflated.

So, I hadn't been in a while, but I was out driving and Kathleen had fallen asleep so I pulled in. I parked right next to his grave. He is so close to the road.

Things have been melting lately. There are bare patches of ground under trees, and the snow has retreated from the edges of the grass. His space was melted to the muddy, still frozen ground, and on top of his space was the heart-shaped wreath I had placed on top of the snow on Christmas. The red ribbon was still there; the red berries had lost their coating and were half red, half white.

It looked bedraggled, a little lonely, and a little sad.

But as I approached the house, I saw Henry's lamp on in the window. Brian had gotten home early and turned it on. The glow of the moon shaped lamp, gentle and warm, welcomed me home. I started lighting the lamp last winter during those darkest of days, and I have lit it every night since.

I will still go to the cemetery sometimes to "visit" Henry, but more often I have my time with him here at home. Here where I have memories of him. Here where he should be.


  1. I don't have a lamp, but I light candles for Jordan. They make me feel close to her too. The lamp sounds beautiful.

  2. I don't go to the cemetery much either. We temporarily put E in the baby area, but we will move her to yet to be chosen family plot. Right now, there isn't even a grave marker (partly b/c she died right before the first snow, mostly because we'll move her and design a stone then). In many ways, I know E isn't at the cemetery anyway. It's simply a place to memorialize her. Her soul is in Heaven and she can be with me always. It sounds like you've found the perfect place to be with Henry.

  3. We can't go to the cemetary. Physically can't because they close it in the winter. You may have seen my brief "can't go to Emma" story on Carol's blog.

    It's hard, but yes - that's why we have the bush and stone angel here, at home - where she belongs.

  4. Henry is in a family plot with Brian's grandparents (and great grandparents). We weren't sure there would be room, and, although I knew he wasn't really there, I felt better having him with people when we buried him. He still doesn't have a stone (15 months later). It is something Brian and I need to do, but haven't. We could chalk it up to being to busy, but I think it's more a matter of not wanting to do it in some ways.

    Cara--you need snow shoes!

  5. We've only returned to the cemetery once since Ezra died, which probably sounds awful. But the reality is, I don't think of Ezra there. His body is there, but his spirit is always with us. xoxo