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Driving by cemeteries hurts.
I’ve always noticed them. I recognize them as sacred places and believe they deserve reverence. Yet, they never really affected me. Or at least no anything like they do now.
It’s not just that I feel cemeteries’ sacred-ness and level of reverence. No, it’s physical. I can physically feel cemeteries now.
The physical reaction I have alone can bring me to tears. I (almost) always hold them back. But the sensation can last upwards of 15 minutes.
Cemeteries mean something else to me now. Something more.
My Dad now lies in one. He lies not far from his very first grandchild. My first nephew.
My nephew’s death was ruled SIDS. And his death took me out for about a month. (But that’s another story.)
My Mom is now purchasing a plot right next to where my Dad’s is. And my Dad’s sister and husband are also purchasing a plot at my Dad’s feet. One of my siblings is now purchasing a plot very near to these 3 plots.
One day, 6 of my family members will be right there, together and close. This is a sinking knowledge, though I don’t mean to be morose.
Writing about this hurts.
Writing about my Dad hurts.
I can barely see through the tears as I type, but type I am. I’m typing because I have to.
I have to get all this out. To process and feel.
I have to allow myself to work through the pain and all that my Dad’s death represents to me.
Truthfully, I can’t say I thought my Dad was invincible. And yet, I did.
And that’s the thing isn’t it? The thing with death and loved ones, especially parents. My Dad was such a strong man. He always had a physical job and I think he enjoyed using his body to care for his family.
And although he lost some of that strength a couple years ago, he had certainly regained much of it. He still had bouts of seemingly unexplained illness, those bouts aren’t even what killed him. Or at least not directly. And, I think in some ways that’s one thing I struggle with so much.
But back to cemeteries. They hurt me. I have very physical sensations each time we drive by a cemetery now.
They remind me much more deeply that none of us are actually invincible.
If my Dad, a strong, handsome, loving, generous, and kind man isn’t invincible, then neither am I for my guys.
And maybe that hurts me too.
Because if I’m even a slightly decent mom and wife, my guys will probably feel this same deep pain and sadness too, one day. Yet, this isn’t a pain and sadness I want them to feel. I don’t want any of my guys to hurt the way I hurt about my Dad’s death.
It’s said that it’s better to be on good terms when someone dies. And, though I definitely see the value and truth in it. Even a good relationship doesn’t lessen the pain, sadness, and grief as I try to move through life.
I hope to have a great relationship with the boys as they grow up and become men and parents themselves. But, like any Mom, I don’t actually want to see or know they suffer. I’m more than sure my Dad wouldn’t want me to feel this deep pain and sadness. And, yet, all of this is inevitable, is it not?
None of us are invincible. All of us are vulnerable. And grieving my Dad’s death, while driving by cemeteries, highlights both of these facts.