Sometimes letting go is the hardest part, and other times, remembering is.
Ive gone on about it too much, I know. But it is what it is…and its hard.
A few weeks ago, we took Molly’s ashes up to have them buried. We dropped them off, said nothing, and attempted to carry on about the day as if it was a normal every day thing, to take a box of ashes up, pay for them to be buried, and be told to come back in a few weeks to see the final “Things” in place. Im still not comfortable with cemetery words. So you will have to bear with me as I call grave stones, head stones, and graves in general “Things”.
That was a few weeks ago, and I didn’t really expect much else to come of them. It was a raining when we went up there, and Madisons idea about doing something – wasn’t going to go through.
Last week, she casually mentioned going up and seeing if they had finished. I told her we would. Hoping that somehow, she would forget to ask again. But yesterday, it came up again…and knowing this was something she needed, I agreed to take her up there today. “Can we bring…something?” was her next question, and to get the topic off the table I agreed that she could bring whatever she wanted up there – hoping with everything in me that it wasn’t going to be some form of torture. Because while she is ok with cemeteries and things that go on up there – Im not.
Today, however, it was raining. I thought she would just forfeit the idea, and so after we dropped the boys off at different places, and it was just her and I, I was sort of…shocked to hear she ask if it would be ok to bring balloons with us, and was reminded that it didn’t matter – she needed to go up there, check on things, and say good bye in her own way…I nodded, and a short while later, we were driving the distance up the short hill into the cemetery.
After getting as close as we could, I parked, and waited a few seconds. The rain was pouring down hard, and without the wipers going, it was hard to make out anything except the rain that was coming down in heavy sheets. “You ready for this?” I looked over. She bit her lip and nodded slowly. We got out, and started the descent down the the small hill to where we had been told we could find her. HER. As if she would be there, somehow…waiting.
Years ago, I could have told you the names of the stones that surrounded my wife. I could have told you to take three steps to the right, forward one, and across five, and you would be standing directly on her. The tree that was a short distance away was a place I often sat while watching Emmy crawl, and eventually learning to walk. Years ago, I spent time up there…lots of time. But after Emmy died, going up there no longer was something I wanted to be a part of. Something about going up there where stones were littered with names and dates of kids who were much to young to have even been mentioned…wasn’t a thought I really liked to entertain, and I gave up going there. Hadnt been there for a few years.
“I found it” Madisons voice drug me out of my thoughts and I followed down a few more feet to where she was standing.
It was raining. Not just raining. But pouring. Like it does most often. Rain that no matter what kind of coat you have on, will find its way to your skin in minutes.
Within minutes, Madison had let the balloons go, after whispering a few words to each of them.
We turned to go.
The rain seemed fitting. It reminded me of times I had spent with her, just Molly and I, much like I was now…with just Madison. Only back then, it was time I was “Forced” to spend with her. Time I counted down to when I could have a few minutes alone, with out having to wait on the every need of a four year old who thought I was her live play mate. Times I would give almost anything to go back and redo. To just run in the rain with her, one more time.
The rain seemed fitting, the color choice of balloons even seemed to fit perfect. The only thing that didn’t seem to fit – was the fact that I was visiting her grave…it didn’t seem to fit that a few feet away, there was another grave, with my last name on it. That has never seemed right. Its never fit. Never seemed right, and today, was no exception. No matter how far I come with things, no matter how much I let go of, and come to accept…I don’t think that will be something I will ever come to grips with. There isn’t anything right about burring a child. There isn’t anything right about burring your own child, and visiting her grave – doesn’t seem to be appropriate.
We walked away, and Madison slipped her hand in mine. We walked back to the truck in silence, wind and rain in our faces. But something seemed to say that that would be how Molly would have enjoyed that…the walk in the rain, the balloons…the time spent alone with just her.
Somehow, it seemed right, and wrong at the same time.
But nothing will ever, ever, say “Its final” like seeing her name on that stone, and knowing. Just knowing.