The Hard Thing about the Cemetery

The Hard Thing about the Cemetery

I visited my little boy yesterday for the first time in months.

Why did it take me so long? 

Not because he is too far away. Not because I don’t like where he is buried. Not because I don’t love him or miss him.

Joseph was born in Rexburg, Idaho, where we were living at the time while my husband finished his degree. One of the toughest decisions we had to make when he was born was where to bury him. We talked about burying him in nearby Rigby, but we knew that we would be moving once Mason graduated. My brother suggested Lehi City Cemetery in Utah, and from the moment we looked it up, it felt right. 

The infant section of the cemetery (I didn’t even know those were a thing until then) has its own area separate from the rest of the cemetery and features a sculpture of a mom and a dad with a baby.

We moved forward with buying a plot and setting up a time for a graveside service.

One of the hardest things was picking up the little box with my baby in it from the funeral home and putting it in the trunk for the 4 hour drive to Utah. I wanted to open it, but I was too scared. I still remember how wrong it felt to have him in a box being moved around. Burying him was such a relief, knowing that he had a home and a place to be safe.

We later moved to a home 45 minutes from Joseph, but I still feel a block about visiting him.

The cemetery feels empty to me. I wish it actually were empty and unused, but what I mean is that I don’t often get peace from going there- I usually just feel filled with that longing and grief. It’s hard to go there and know that he is there, but also very much out of reach. 

I think about him every day. He is engraved on my heart in such a way that I know that he will always be there. Visiting his grave has been a harder part of grieving him, and I’m learning not to feel shame for that.

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