Thursday, May 23, 2013

52 Photos Project, Week Five: Water Droplets

 (and a story of grief and gratitude, of joy and sorrow)


These are photos from November of 2010. I used the stick in the second photo to create a "thang" that still rings true to me.

I was reminded that joy and sorrow are never far apart today when I read a post on 3X3X365 that talked about honoring death and grief (it's the middle photo and story). When she wrote about the grave being covered by fake green grass carpet, she triggered a memory for me of my son's burial.

The cemetery is about an hour and a half away from where the funeral services were held. Several of his friends stopped to eat at a home where they all often hung out together. They thought they had plenty of time. But they were a little late arriving, and some of them were pallbearers. Because the friends were late and we took a little longer than planned, the grave digger people could not wait for us to all clear out before they lowered the casket. They had another burial at another cemetery to attend to. So there I was, still sitting in my front row seat, the grieving mother with what was left of her family. I watched carefully as they lowered the casket in the ground and then shoveled the dirt back in over the casket. Somehow, watching that ritual was strangely comforting to me.

I did not know until I read the blog post story today about honoring death and grief that I am so grateful his friends were a little late so that circumstances transpired such that I could sit and breathe my final goodbyes to my son's body.

Joy and sorrow, they are never far apart.


19 comments:

  1. Annie, you in turn triggered something in me. My mom died a year ago and recently, on the anniversary of her death, we buried her ashes in the niche that she had purchased a few years ago. After saying a couple of prayers, a few of us had brought a little something to include so we took turns explaining what we'd brought as we put it beside the urn.

    When we'd finished, the undertaker seemed surprised to learn that we all wanted to stay while they closed it and sealed it. I realized after reading your post that I actually did feel a sort of comfort from being a witness to the whole thing.

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  2. Oh, wow, Mich, that's such a cool memory and story! I'm glad to hear it! I love that y'all brought things to put in the urn!

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  3. That's really beautiful.

    I remember that rainy branch photo. Love it still.

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  4. Thanks, Rach (but I know you're partial to rain)!

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  5. Beautiful post. Your 52 Photos Project piece is lovely. So simple and expressive.

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  6. Beautiful pictures and an even more touching story. I lost my child early during pregnancy and couldn't even bury her. So in a way, your story was comforting me, and don't we all have had our part in grief and loss in life? It's helpful to learn about how others learned to cope with it. Thanks.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Katrin. Losing a child, no matter how young or how old is just plain hard. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. You do amazing things with words.

    <3

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  8. Wonderful photo, wonderful words. They can even, eventually, become part of each other, don't you think?

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    1. I think so! Surely both are a part of everyone's life.

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  9. Thank you for saying what so many of us cannot express. The grief never ends, but you can begin to understand.

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  11. Let me try this again.....

    Very cool. Reminds of of the Kahlil Gibran quote which I will pitifully misquote as "You can't fill up with happiness until grief has carved out a big ole painful place for it to go"

    There...
    LVC

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    1. I'd never heard that particular Kahlil Gibran quote (well, yes, I know, it is somewhat paraphrased)! Thanks for bringing it up!

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