Thursday marked 18 months since our sweet Everett silently entered the world. I took Ellie with me to Valhalla, the cemetery where he is buried. I still don't know how I feel about the cemetery. I know, for some, it's a very special place. Other women have written about how God speaks to them at the cemetery, how He meets them in prayer, and how special a place it is for them. Every time I go, I try to conjure up those feelings, but I just can't.
I do try to keep Everett's grave looking nice; although, admittedly, too many months passed between my visit last week and the one before. I am resolved not to let that happen again. Still, tending his plot is the only way I can physically mother him.
But I hate it. I hate that there are bugs there. I hate that his stone gets dirt caked on it. I hate that the flowers I put out are always dirty and faded when I return. I hate that the one physical place I have for him is outside, exposed to the elements and creatures. Most of all, I hate that he is there, and not with me.
And yet, I know he isn't really there, either.
A girl that Jason used to go to church with lost her third baby last week. She had already suffered two miscarriages, and was 18 weeks pregnant with a baby girl that she and her husband were so ready to bring home. Sadly, they will not. When another friend told me, it literally made my stomach turn.
I felt myself yelling at God in my heart. "Why do you let this happen??? Don't you see what's going on down here??? Do you even CARE?!?!?"
And even in my anger, I felt Him gently speak to my heart... Of course He sees, and of course He cares.
God, too, knows what it's like when your child dies. And the death of God's son is the foundation for all my hope, all my joy, all my love, and my perseverance in the knowledge that this life is not the end.
So today, even in the midst of pain and longing, I am choosing to be thankful for life: the resurrected life of Jesus, the physical life of my family, and the eternal life that will reunite me with my baby boy and the glory of God.