Tuesday, June 06, 2006

a haunting memory

Driving past the cemetery this morning sparked a memory... and has left me a bit emotional today.

About 3 years ago, our Christmas plans got cancelled. Cancelled too late to be able to plan anything else... cancelled on Christmas Eve about 4 p.m. It was a painful time for my husband and me. That year, those plans were the only Christmas celebration we had to look forward to enjoying.

Christmas morning, we were crabby, but got up and got ourselves ready to go see my mother-in-law. She was still fairly interactive at that point. Got in the car, headed over to the Alzheimer's facility and on the way, drove past this cemetery.

As we drove past, I saw a teenager in the cemetery. He could not have been more than 16, on his knees beside a fresh grave.

I could see the weight of his sorrow... in how his shoulders sagged... how his arms hung limp at his sides... his head bowed...

... and the racking sobs that shook his entire body.

I wanted to jump out of the car and run to him, hug him. His grief was so raw. It shook me and moved me and changed my thoughts that Christmas day...

The vision of his raw grief haunts me. When I drive past that cemetery now, I can still see him there.

A few weeks later; I noticed a new headstone on that fresh grave. I've never been brave enough to stop and see who the person was that had been so beloved that a teenager would show the intensity of his sorrow so publicly.

Today when I drove past the cemetery, I could still see him in my memory.

Death, dying, grief and sorrow. With my mother-in-law getting closer, I guess it’s been on my mind a lot lately.

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