Standing on the wet muddy ground, I never felt so connected to what was within it. It felt like a cord was still tying us together, even though it had physically been cut weeks ago.
No one ever imagines standing over their baby’s grave. And there I was, feet at the edge of it, knowing that someone I intimately loved was within it.
I cried for hours the night before visiting her grave and hours more while standing beside it with my mom. I felt such a mix of sadness and anger, like I wanted to reach into the ground and rip her little body from it because “this is not how it’s supposed to be. This is not what was supposed to happen.”
After that day, the heaviness of losing our baby lifted a bit, like I had set down some of my sadness at the grave site and left it there.
Happiness comes frequently now, the tears less. But they still bubble up. I still wish this story had a different ending, but now I know I am able to move on.
She is buried in a section of the cemetery devoted to infants and children. So many of the grave markers only had one date, because the child never lived longer than one day. There is so much loss and grief marked by those stones, so many stories like mine and ones even more devastating. Seeing them created an undercurrent of gratitude that I wasn’t there burying Addy or Crosby.
Death is hard. I don’t like how many times it’s already infringed on my life, and I hate knowing that it could reappear again at any moment. It makes me hesitate to get too comfortable or settled into my life.
I always believed that God controlled when we arrived and departed Earth, that it was his choosing. I don’t believe that anymore. I think most (but not all) births and deaths are chance occurrences, lucky or unlucky events. Sometimes people’s organs stop working, sometimes babies die, sometimes bad things happen and people get pulled out of our lives or a miracle occurs and new life gets pushed in. I don’t think God chooses to extract the people we love from our lives (usually). I think he’s just there to welcome them to another place when their bodies stop working.
This sounds weird, and I hesitate to share it, but a few weeks ago I swear I heard God answer me when I asked, for the hundredth time, “Why did you take her?”
“She was never yours,” he said. “But now she is ours.”
It came with an understanding that her life never belonged to me, and also a clear feeling that he loved her like I did, that we shared that.
I’m not stuck in sadness anymore. I’ve moved on from that place. My questions haven’t been answered, but they seem less pressing now. I am turned in the direction of healing, but never truly will let go.
- Trying to Let Go
- Dear Kiddos, I Like You.