I don’t think I’ll ever grow numb to the emotions I experience as I drive into the cemetery and as I walk up to his gravesite. I really would not want to, though. It isn’t the same each time. It depends on why I’m there. If I’m there just to visit, because I’m having one of those days and need to see his resting place, there’s usually a pit in my stomach until I get to him. If I’m going to clean his marker and maybe switch out the flowers or whatnot, an overwhelming calm comes over me.
The connection I have with that piece of ground is something indescribable. It’s odd, though, because I know it is just his body that lies there. His soul isn’t there. It’s also very bizarre to think that his body is under my feet, when 3 years ago, it was just inside of me. Where his plot is located also twists your heart. It saddens you to see all of those markers and balloons and toys around, because in this section of the cemetery lay quite a few babies. Your heart breaks for all of those families, and yet at the same time, you’re glad that they are surrounded by each other.
The hope in the back of your mind is that they helped your little one find their way as someone else did for them. This leads me to a little boy named Benjamin. His last name is not important. He is buried in the row behind Wyatt. I’d like to think he was the first friend Wyatt made. 2 months after we buried him, my mom and I went out to check on everything. Wyatt’s marker had not been placed yet, and I remember that we had experienced some adverse weather. We wanted to go check on things and switch out a few pieces. We walked up to burial plots in disarray from the winds. Wyatt’s elephant rattle was resting on Benjamin’s marker, as if it was placed there. It probably was. I picked it up and carried it back to Wyatt. My mom and I finished what we were doing, and we’re saying our goodbyes when I remember this pull. It was the first time I’d ever felt anything like that. Something in my heart told me to go place the rattle back on Benjamin’s marker, like Wyatt meant to give it to him.
It happens often; something of Wyatt’s is gone from his marker and is usually found on Benjamin’s. I don’t doubt that it is probably a groundskeeper cleaning up the area, but why always on Benjamin’s? He isn’t the only little boy buried around Wyatt. There are 3 that are physically closer to him.
My mom and I check on his marker every time we check on Wyatt. I don’t know anything about this little boy. I don’t know how he passed away or who his family is. I don’t know what religion and/or denomination his family practices or even if they do. None of that matters, though.
I read something the other day about how we need to stop focusing on what we have lost but to acknowledge what we have in front of us and move forward. I agree with this, part. Paying attention to what we have and continuing to live is extremely important. I also believe, though, that what we have lost (regardless of the capacity of the loss) teaches us vital lessons as we move forward.
I pray that Benjamin’s family has found that balance of missing him and moving forward. I hope they know that their little boy is still making an impact even in his earthly absence.
Thank you sweet Benjamin! With Love- Heather (Wyatt’s mom)
Photo creds: Brandon Couch https://unsplash.com/@bccreativemedia