Members caitsmom Posted January 19, 2008 Members Report Share Posted January 19, 2008 I went to visit Caitlin’s grave yesterday. I was feeling pretty strong after church, and I felt that since it had already been two days since the stone was delivered, that I should go. The day was cold, but not biting and I was able to stand outside for a time, though, I’m unable to say how long I was there. At first I thought it wasn’t there, but then I recognized her name and tears burst out of me. It was such a shock to see her name on a grave marker. My hand flew to my mouth; I was trying to stifle my own disbelief that she was dead. I started to wail, but it soon subsided into crying, then tears, and at last wet cheeks in silent sadness. I was at last able to talk to her. “I’m so sorry, sweetie. I wish it could be different. I didn’t know. I wish I had stayed with you every minute of the day. I wish I hadn’t taken any time for my surgery. I didn’t know. I wish I had told them not to use that kind of tube or give you oxygen or not do what ever it was that caused this to happen. I wish I had had them send you for surgery earlier. I’m so sorry sweetie. I love you. I miss you.” Someone had put coins on her marker and a little plastic toy of a girl with brown hair, just like Caitlin would have had. I thought that was nice. I couldn’t believe her body was just below the dirt. There was still a slight mound from the recent burial. I imagined the white coffin and her in her pink dress we bought for her. I was so careful not to walk on it. I did kneel and touch every letter they had carved, and my fingers got caught in tracing her first name continuously. “You daddy liked that name so much the first time he heard it. He told me he liked it better than the names I had wanted him to think about when we first found out we were pregnant. We loved your name. Caitlin your mommy loves you and she’s sorry.” Later I looked at the other babies’ graves and thought about the parents who were missing their children. I wondered if I would meet any of them. Do they visit often? Is it too difficult? Did they move away? Do our children know that we do or don’t visit their grave? Do our children need us to visit? Is it Ok if we don’t visit the grave often? There was a father and his two young sons, about 12 and 8, who came to arrange the toys and flower on a baby’s grave. We didn’t look at each other or talk. Though I did catch the boys’ eyes, they looked away quickly and spoke in hushed whispers to each other and their Dad. It seemed they knew instinctively that this was a place to say “hello” or talk together. Then they drove away. The grave was another baby girl, nearly two years old. “Where’s her mommy,” I wondered. I righted the rest of the toys on the graves and went back to Caitlin’s and talked to her some more and took some pictures. I wanted to remember the first day I saw it. Years ago, I would have thought this was morbid, but today I just think it is as it is. I wanted to see the grave and study it. The anguish I feel over her death is unbearable, yet the markers of her death are what I do have of her on this earth. And I looked out across the baby graves and saw all these markers as what the moms and dads have left of their children. Turning about I took in the hill with the rows of grave stones, monuments, statues of Mary, Jesus, Angels, and benches and the cemetery came to life as I burned with the intensity of the feelings for those who are loved and now lost to us here. There were times, I thought of graveyards as interesting and wondered about what kind of person was buried underneath a particular stone. I would see a stone of someone I knew of, like Benjamin Franklin’s parents in Boston, and think “My, that’s where they were buried. Well, think of that.” Today my eyes took in all those stones, and my heart saw them as all that was left of those who are loved. The loving remain on earth and the loved are marked with stone, because we can no longer look upon their sweet faces and so we mark them with a stone, something we can look upon. It was all horribly wrong. I looked at the cemetery and 'felt' it this time. It wasn’t the dead who awakened for me this afternoon, but rather the echoes of the pain, anguish, love, and loss of the living that radiated from each stone for the dead. All of it, every emotion, word, cry, and scream was too powerful to go with them when they left the cemetery, so it remained in the ground and in those stones for me to feel. I turned back to Caitlin’s grave. It’s called a ‘final resting place’ and we know that means the body is here and it’s what we have left. We may have clothes, toys, blankets, and pictures, and those we keep close and sometimes carry with us. This place, though, this is what’s left of my baby as she was here on this earth. Part of the anguish I feel is knowing that her soul, her spirit, what truly made that baby body be Caitlin Anne isn’t in that coffin. Her spirit, her essence isn’t on this earth anymore. She’s not really there under the ground, because her spirit lives in my heart and I ache to express my love for her here in this time and in this physical place. Some days I feel she’s in heaven, other days that she’s floating around in the wind somewhere, other days that she’s with me.I couldn’t sleep last night. I sat in the dark office room, what would have been Caitlin’s room, in the orange chair. I rubbed her blanket against my face, then held it there. “Is that what it felt like to her?” I was a mother without her baby. I sat with Caitlin’s blanket and opened it on my lap and stroked it gently. Imagining what she felt when she laid on it. I stayed there and waited for the nurses to come and lay her in my lap. They didn’t come. “Who do you pray to for a miracle like this? Who do you pray to to bring a mother her baby? Who do I have to pray to? Who will grant me this? Who?” I stayed there for a time not knowing how long, just hoping that I would get an answer. Just silence and darkness. The blanket had some static in it and when I would stroke it little electric sputters would happen and give me some magical sparkles. “This is where I decide that this is Caitlin, if I believed in signs from beyond. Do I believe? I get to decide, that’s what’s great about belief.” I decided to enjoy the lights and how Caitlin would have stared in wonderment at them and, just because it had a magical effect, it was Caitlin as she was magical to me. I put the blanket back on my lap and stared at its emptiness and waited for my baby. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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