Saturday the boys and I went to see Sean's grave for the first time. It was long overdue and we only went because John really wanted to see it. I gotta admit that I had a pit in my stomach and couldn't stop crying the days leading up to the trip. There's just something about seeing the name of the person you love the most on a gravestone that can make it pretty real. Because of the weather conditions at the time of Sean's death, he wasn't buried for a couple of months later, so I really didn't have any idea where he was located in the cemetary. Gratefully I have a friend who has visited him. When I spoke with her before the trip I expressed my sadness and dread at going. And she said that she didn't think seeing his grave would be any harder or make it more real for me because I miss him so much every day. I got a little angry at that. She's never been a widow and knew she couldn't possibly understand. She went on to say that his grave was really beautiful and that it's a place that honors him. I honestly got a little more angry. He isn't there...I was afraid of questions the boys may have and answers maybe I wouldn't have....I was scared.
So I went. It's amazing what I will do for these children, the hell that I will walk through. And the strangest thing happened. I didn't fall apart, the boys were happy and I walked away realizing that my friend was right all along. I know that Sean is with the Lord, like I know my own name. I know even though his body is there, his spirit sits with the legions of angels praising the name of his Best Friend. But, there is something about a grave. We pass through this world quickly, and in Sean's case, much too quickly. And it's comforting to me that there is some piece of granite in a beautiful little corner of the world with his name on it. A little piece that says Sean was here and he isn't forgotten.
I'm going to visit a little more often. What I've learned about my daily grieving process, and what I'm grateful for, is that I'm not really ever able to get caught up in it. The phone rings, a child cries, responsibilities beckon and tears are quickly, maybe too quickly, wiped away. That brief moment of time has passed. But, when I go to the cemetary all will be quiet. There I will just be able to be a widow. A woman who just needs to sit and cry for the love that is gone. And in this season of my life I'm grateful that such a place exists.