Monday, April 18, 2011

The visit

Chase is buried in a cemetery 7 hours away, so we don't get to visit his grave but once a year.  This makes the visit all the more painful and momentous.  It's not something we do every day and get used to.  Though I don't think anyone can ever get used to visiting their child's gravesite.

We had a very short window of opportunity for this trip as Reese has had baseball games nearly every other day or two this past week/weekend.  So we got to the cemetery Sunday.  It was a very different feeling traveling this time.  First and foremost, I had my baby in the car seat this time.  The car seat that for so long, hadn't been used.  I remembered two years prior, instead of that car seat, we had a casket in our Sequoia.  A casket with the body of one of our children.  That was a feeling that nearly sent me over the edge.  I couldn't think about it during that 7 hour drive, or I could feel myself losing my mind.  But it was hard not to.  I thank Chase for carrying me through those days mostly.  Giving me the grace to handle all of that.  It hurts to always will.  

I remember buying flowers last year to take to the grave.  We all agreed on an arrangement and I remember wondering if the checker would ever guess in a million years what we were buying these flowers for as she commented on how pretty they were.  This year, they each picked out their own arrangement, and I still wondered....and it still hurts.  I will never get used to that feeling.  And I still feel like teetering on the edge of sanity when I buy those flowers for my sweet boy.  It's a very surreal feeling.

Owen slept nearly the entire three hour drive Sunday morning to the cemetery.  Leaving me to myself for the ride....again, remembering last year and the sadness of the drive.  Having my rainbow in my arms this year definitely helped me, somewhat through distracting me, somewhat as a physical comfort.  When we got to the cemetery, I woke him up because I wanted to take pictures.   And he cried.  The entire stay.  It was terribly windy outside and I know he didn't like it.  But it really infringed on our visit.  We all had our time at the grave and said our prayers and did what we needed to do.  But with Owen crying, it certainly wasn't as peaceful as the trip was last year.  To make matters worse, I looked up in the sky and found not a single cloud.  I looked all around me....searching.....but I didn't see him.  I didn't feel him.  As hard as I tried, I felt so abandoned.  I couldn't find any sign of my baby boy.   I felt guilty having Owen in my arms.... and I couldn't comfort Owen at all, either.  So I didn't get to be alone with Patric much at all.  Everything was just all wrong.  My other kids looked so grown up next his grave this year.  They were so little when I remember them at the burial.  It makes me so sad to see them sad and to know how their brother's death has changed them.  It was time to leave and of course Owen calms down right away.  But I was so sad because I couldn't feel Chase around me.  I wondered if God was mad at me and wasn't going to let me feel my baby's presence anymore.   This made me more sad.

After a while of silence in the car and once the kids started watching their movie again, I told Patric how I felt, all the while crying.  I mean, why would I expect to feel Chase there at his grave, 7 hours away from where he always is.  He's with us everywhere we go every day.  Why do we need to go all this way to visit him on his birthday/death day?  Of course, how could we not visit his grave is also the question.  I was so confused....and then....all of a sudden Patric turned up the radio.  And we heard it.  Sarah was singing Angel.   And I felt him.  It was like Chase was telling me at that moment, "It's okay, Mom.  You're exactly right, I'm not there at that cemetery.  That's just my body.  I'm with you guys all the time.  See, I'm right here."  And for as long as the song played, I closed my eyes and felt my baby boy.  Thankful for his presence.  And after that I was okay.  Because I knew he wanted me to be okay.  

As a babyloss mom, we are always searching for signs.  Some may call them coincidences or just luck.  But as a babyloss mom, I'll take what I can get.  And I got it yesterday.....I miss you baby boy.  I will never stop loving you and I will never stop thinking of you.  Sweet dreams, little man.  Godspeed.


  1. I'm glad you were finally able to feel Chase's spirit, to know that he is with you. I love the "Angel" song, too. We are 2 hours away from Meredith's grave. I hate that, too, because I never got to hold her and for some reason, I feel closer to her at the cemetery although I know she is in Heaven. I know her body is there and I have gotten used to decorating her grave frequently when I was in better health.
    I know the birthdays are so hard and I am still holding you in prayer. xoxo

  2. Christy-

    I live 20 minutes from Nate's grave but have only been back twice. It's hard for me to go there. I can only imagine what an emotional drive it must be for all of you to travel that far.

    I am glad that God comforted you on your visit. "Angel" is Nate's song too.


  3. This just brought tears to my eyes. I know how much it means to feel as though you are always in the presence of your son.. always searching for the signs and feeling so much light and love when they appear. I am so glad that this realization came to you in this way Christy. It was pulling at my heart to read about how the visit began and then so heartwarming to read how it ended in the car. His soul is what survives.. what travels and what loves. May he always be by your side mamma....

  4. Oh, Mom. You know that you are always in the presence of Chase. I love you soooooo much and I want you to know that I will always be there for you. Your like my Best Friend. And those kind of best friends can't leave you, even if they want to. But you know that Chase wouldn't just abandon you like that, ok?