Once every summer on the way to camp I stop at the cemetery where all of my grandparents are buried. I used to go and really not know what to do while I was there. I would stand at each of the graves and think about them, but it felt weird....like I was missing something. I would always leave feeling kind of confused but glad that I went, and thankful that I knew each of them. A few years ago I decided I would paint some rocks and leave them there. I collected 4 rocks and they sat in my house for a long time. Those rocks ended up being painted for Joe on father's day.
I did not go to my grandparent's cemetery in 2007.
This year when I went it was a completely different experience for me. I was alone for one, no kids in the car. I stood at each grave and I cried (understatement), hard and for a long time. I was a complete mess. I had feelings of wanting to scream, to drop to the ground and ask WHY. WHY does it all end up like this? Why did it all end up like this? I felt a deep loss for each of my grandparents in a way I had not felt before. I felt sorrow in a different way. We know from the time we are young that people die when they get "old". My grandparents all lived long lives, and at the time I accepted that it was their time to die. I was sad and I miss them, but I think I was preoccupied with how my parents were feeling. I did not allow myself to feel the deep sorrow of loss for myself. In my grief group they said that a death will often bring up old unresolved issues from past losses that were not dealt with. I think that is what I was experiencing that day.
When I left the cemetery I was not confused or thinking I was thankful to have known my grandparents. I was angry that the world seems to be so hurtful, that we live and love and our bodies end up in the ground. It all seemed cruel.
When I was there I could not believe that my husband is with my grandparents. That he is also in a cemetery. He never got the chance to be old. It's all crazy to me.