Cemeteries used to scare me. The permanent place of rest gave me nothing but unrest. I felt like within the property lines of the cemetery were nothing but tormented souls trapped underground.
Then I buried my baby. I realize now, the cemetery is far different than I used to imagine.
I went to see Harlynn's site again today, once again not knowing what to say, how to act, or the "proper" way to visit my baby's earthly resting spot. I sat down and repaired the hole in the box that houses her little guest book my aunt made specifically for Harlynn's site. I read through the entries. Again. I looked around at the many graves - graves of babies - that occupied the area where Harlynn is laid to rest. Some of the graves were laden with memorial treasures. Some of them were seemingly neglected. I started to wonder about those babies. Were their parents able to visit them? Did their parents still feel the need to visit them?
That thought caught a lump in my throat. I don't know why. How many parents couldn't bring themselves to sit by a stone marker? How many parents ache in silence? How many parents no longer feel the need to visit their baby? Will I ever be one of them?
I started to cry. Not just for my own loss, but for the fact that there are so many parents who have to carve time out of their lives to visit the graves of their children. They're not picking them up from after-school activities or summer camp, they're visiting the cemetery. To spend time with their child.
Why does this have to happen?
I looked over at the tree near Harlynn. It's only mid-July and the tree that bloomed so gorgeously in May is already turning and shedding its leaves. It's a poetic resemblance, really. These babies, who blossomed so beautifully, withered away from our lives far too soon. Long before their season should have ended.
I told Halrynn I love her so much - and because I couldn't physically give her my love, I would give it to other people. I told her I knew she was experiencing far greater things than I ever could have given her but I wish I would have had the chance to give her something. I would give anything to show her something of the breadth of love this broken heart carries for her. I told her I wished I could do something about the ants that seem to have claimed her spot as their territory. Like they were there first or something. The nerve.
As I went to leave, I turned over my shoulder to the other resting babies. "Your mommies and daddies love you. Every one of you."
And for that matter, so do I.