Generally speaking, the gardeners at Judson’s memorial park clear away all flowers and any other gifts left at a gravesite every Wednesday morning. However, there are certain times throughout the year when they allow loved ones to leave things for an extended period of time.
I feel fortunate that Judson’s birthday falls during a period where they are lenient about what can be displayed and allow it to remain there through the 6th of January. Therefore, all the amazing decorations that the family put up on the 24th were able to remain there until today.
However, that meant that I needed to remove them this morning if I didn’t want them to be trashed.
So while Jessie jumped and played on the nearby grass, I slowly dismantled the decor that had been so beautifully placed there to adorn his plot. Each movement pained me as I pondered the reality of what I was actually doing.
These items represented love for my boy, the boy buried more than 12 feet below the ground under my feet. This is the boy that I caressed as an infant, the boy that used to tackle me, the boy that I conversed with, the boy that would cause me to stop in my tracks and leave me in awe at the gift I’d been given, the boy that regularly had me in stitches. This is the boy I love. He is dead. And I am relegated to leaving flowers, notes, trinkets, and toys to express my affection. It is awful! It is absolutely dreadful!
And now, instead of carefully placing the items, I actually had to take them away, one by one, leaving the gravesite barren.
As I was driving away my soul felt barren too.