HANGING OUT IN THE CEMETERY
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
— excerpt from poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye
it has been one year and one hundred and nine days since i lost hope for me and my mom. i lost her long before that, but when her life ended, so did the hope that i kept hidden away.
my mother blessed me with a few moments before her passing that mean more to me than most of what happened in my adult life between us and i will always appreciate her for them, but that’s another blog at another time.
i find cemeteries fascinating and oh, so peaceful. but i don’t go to hang out. i don’t go to remember. i haven’t been more than three times in the last four hundred and seventy four days. she isn’t there. i won’t find healing there.
when we lowered what was left of her into the ground a few days after her body and soul parted, i refused to add anything to the plot. i wrote her a letter before the flames embraced the shell that once was, and it will be mixed with her bones forever. i stood for a bit, after everyone else had stood long enough, as i just wanted to breathe for a few minutes. i didn’t want anyone with me. i ached for her in that moment. i wish i had stood there longer.
never during my three visits have i found her there. i felt her once. it was in my closet at home. i was picking up her service announcement and a book that once belonged to her, as i had it on the floor in the corner and i was straightening it up and i felt her. the smell of her warmed all around me and i felt overwhelming comfort and love. it was a wonderful moment. and then it passed. nothing like it has come again. but it was mine. and i cherish it. it was about four hundred and seventy days ago.
during my seldom trips to the cemetery i think of the people who are remembered there. i hope more than anything that those now gone have found peace. and those who miss them have found peace as well. as full as they are [the cemeteries], they feel empty to me. i understand they hold markers for spots to gather and mourn, celebrate, remember. i suppose i’ve never needed a spot.
i hope every day that she has found peace. that wherever she is and whomever she’s with, there is happiness. i hope she still watches.
i grieved for the loss of her presence in my life for a long time, a long time ago. i have yet to grieve for the loss of her life and the loss of the hope that went with it. bits and pieces, here and there, but not how i need to grieve. but that peace, for me, isn’t meant to come yet. and it won’t come hanging out in the cemetery because she’s not there. it may take until my body and soul separate to find her again and perhaps i’ll get another moment like before. i still look, i listen i breathe, just not at her beautiful headstone.
Here’s more on the Creative Writing Challenge