Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
I walked through the gate, leaves crunching beneath my feet. The grass was still green and there were beautiful trees with big branches hanging throughout it. I looked at the rows of grey headstones lined up one after another and my heart immediatley broke. These stones were no longer a clump of rocks I drove by. These headstones were now someone’s someone. Each one of them signified another broken family, left without a loved one.
Both of my daughters had been cremated. But this time it was so different. I had actually looked forward to picking up Alexis’s ashes because it was the one and only way we could ever bring her home with us. I remember the day Chad walked in with the little pink urn. I remember the feeling of holding it for the first time and feeling relieved to at least have a piece of her in our home. Not this time……this time the thought of picking up Audrey’s ashes made me sick. As each and every day of the past four months have passed I tell myself I will do it tomorrow……but tomorrow never comes.
I am terrified to pick her up from the funeral home. I am terrified of the sound that the ashes make as the urn gets moved. I am scared to hold a box in my arms where my little girl was rocked, and carried day after day for eighty one days. The thought of her perfect little body being turned into nothing but a pile of ashes breaks me into a million pieces. See Alexis’s urn reminded me of the existence of her short but powerful little life. Audrey’s reminds me of her death, of her absence, and of the life I have lost.
As the days have gone by, I have realized that I cannot bring her home. That I cannot bear to line my children up on a shelf. I can’t bring myself to dust of boxes when I should be wiping dirty faces, and kissing scraped knees.
Over the past couple of weeks I have begun to search for a place for the girls to be buried together. A place where I could go sit, sing, cry and pray. A peaceful quiet place where I could run away to, but where I could also run away from when needed.
When I found the beautiful little cemetery with no houses close by, yet close enough to my home, I knew that this would be the place where I would put my two precious gifts into the ground. Although the decision came with a sense of relief, it also came with a whole new set of worries I had never had to think about before. I now thought about how I would feel the first rainfall and the first winter snow. How I would want to protect them from the wet, and from the cold even though I would have absolutely no ability to do so.
One of my hardest struggles has been for me to be able to let go of the fact that they are no longer here. At these times I begin to panic I am reminded that there is no box, no spot on a shelf, no headstone, and no patch of green grass that will ever be a good enough place for my babies……but that Heaven is. God is. That regardless of how much I try to hold on to any evidence of their physical beings, their souls are no longer here. That my girls are walking streets paved of gold and are completely unaware of a snow laiden ground.
Day by day I am believing more, I am trusting more, and I am praying that God continues to stay by me as I continue on this never ending journey of grief.