It’s been a minute since I have been to CT to visit the Cemetery. The headstone is almost done, designs are in. It’s crazy to me that it has taken me over two years to get it done. I struggled with the design and finally think I’ve come up with something that David would appreciate. I spent months trying to figure out what to write and how to try to create something that when we are all long gone and some person happens upon it would say something special was lost. I never found the words, so it will simply have his name. The medallion I now wear proudly on my chest will adorn the center of the stone, and in that respect we will be connected forever through our Mother’s tattoo on his arm and my back, and my medallion and his headstone.
At some point, my time will come, and I will be laid to rest opposite him, and somebody else can worry about my headstone. I hope they do not have as much trouble as I have had in trying to get this done. Some had thought I was stalling because I was angry at David. That was never the case. I, for some reason, was impacted by the permanence of the marker. A thing that will remain well beyond my years and my children’s children’s years. Somehow that made this decision one of the more important ones in my life.
If I could, and if it wasn’t selfish of me, I would have covered the entire stone in words and moments in time where David inspired me, infuriated me, or made me smile, to try to demonstrate the impact he had on so many other lives. But that’s what I selfishly would want to do, and then I had to zoom out and think what would David want. It would be simple: It would be elegant, and it would stand out without being overstated. He was a shining light that illuminated everything around him. Not a spotlight, but a lighthouse. A beacon of safety where you could go to him and share your thoughts and know that he would listen to you.
I find myself in the darkness at times, searching for my little lighthouse. I’ve spent plenty of time imagining what we would be doing today or tomorrow. Other times I spend trying to recreate his face in my mind, something other than the casket at his wake. It’s a really shitty thing because if you asked me to think of Mom or my brother, I immediately lapse to the last time I saw them both and then have to rewind the film to get back to a place when they were alive.
But symbolically and figuratively, we bury this part of the memory and on top place a stone that will remain a marker for hundreds of years, and maybe it will be your families’ families’ family wondering about what it must have been like hundreds of years ago and who the person was that now resides below their feet.
When I go to the cemetery, I mostly just stare at a patch of ground wondering why the grass doesn’t grow better. Sometimes I talk to the ground, but as of yet nobody answers when I talk. Sometimes I look and see the evidence of others who may have visited. Maybe there is a new set of flowers or some new little knick-knack near the little angel that currently acts a placeholder for the stone. That always makes me a little happy that somebody else was thinking of them. I look at Mom’s headstone and try not to let the anger well up inside when I read the words. But mostly I just stare at the grass and wallow a bit in my loss. I remember going once with Jenny, and she asked me what I thought about when we were there. I couldn’t really articulate much of anything because, for the most part, I don’t think of anything. I just stand there for a few minutes and mostly think I shouldn’t be here. They shouldn’t be here. We should be anywhere but here doing what I am doing right now, which is mostly looking at a piece of grass and wondering why it doesn’t grow right.