There is No Wrong Way, Only Your Way

I don't remember a lot about the day he was buried.

It was late December. It was cold.

Wrapped in a blanket I walked for what felt like miles to the space his little body would remain for eternity. Surrounded by family and our closest friends, his tiny white casket hovered above the earth.

I cannot recall if there was snow on the ground or if the sun was shining but I do remember being the first one to walk away when it was over. I needed to leave as quickly as I could. If I wasn't so heavy from the weight of a thousand broken pieces in my heart I would have been running. It wasn't right. I wasn't supposed to be there. He wasn't supposed to be there...forever.

It was over. The funeral was over. The burial proceedings were over. His life here was over.

It has been two years, one month and fourteen days since that day. I have been back to the cemetery twice (neither visit was my decision).

I could walk there any time, if I wanted to, it's right up the street. But I don't want to. I'd prefer not going back until it is my turn to be put in the ground.

I do not go there because to me he is not there. The single memory I have of him in that place is the second worst day of my life.

We are taught the way to grieve is to go where our loved ones are buried to feel close to them. Shower their headstones in beautiful flowers and decorate for each passing holiday.

The truth is, my baby doesn't have a headstone yet. That doesn't mean I don't want him to have one or that he never will. It doesn’t I have forgotten him. It means I am not ready. Tell me, how do you choose the perfect last words that will mark where your child's body rests for eternity?

We all navigate through loss in our own way.

No, I won't go to his grave but I talk to him every day regardless of where I am. I feel him with me wherever I go. I keep his favorite blanket close by. I have a tree I can see from the front window for him. I watch it grow, bloom in the spring and shed its leaves in the fall. It makes me think of him every time I see it.

There is no right or wrong way to feel close to someone you have lost. There is only your way.

For me, he is everywhere I am because he lives in the entire space of my heart.