Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Even worse

I've been avoiding visiting the cemetery where Toren's ashes were to end up with the "hospital disposition". I understood that there would be no way of knowing when the urn containing his ashes would be full and then buried in a plot with the ashes of his peers. But today I had an extra hour to kill.

This place is completely depressing and not because of the obvious issues of being a mass grave for the ashes of fetus' and infants but because it is unkempt and lacks even a simple marker stating what the ground holds. This sounds totally ungrateful since the burial of these remains are done free of charge and there is a bench to rest on with a dove engraved, but not a single word about the babies. Like it's something to be ashamed of. The information I received about the plot almost a year ago states that only flowers may be left in a vase next to the bench. There is no vase, but parents leave mementos anyway and I have heard that periodically they are cleared away.

After collapsing on the bench in horror at the lack of a memorial I got up and began frantically pulling crab grass and clearing away fallen leaves only stopping when my fingers became raw and my left hand was covered in welts from an encounter with a fire ant nest. I tidied stuffed animals, brushed the dirt off of tiny clothes and carefully refolded them, wrote a letter to Toren, smoked 2 cigarettes, and left some flowers with Toren's letter.

Next time I'm wearing better gardening clothes and bringing gloves, a bag for yard waste, and some hand tools. I'm contemplating bringing a garden for butterflies on tour by doing some planting there. Sure you aren't supposed to leave anything there but babies aren't supposed to die either so fuck those rules.

I hate this. Seriously, where is the goddamn light at the end of the tunnel? But there are times when I don't care to live anymore and making my memorial garden kept me busy and now clearing the weeds from this grave site provides a new project to pour energy into. I really hate this.


Zil said...

It sounds like an awfully difficult day for you. How hard to see this place in it's current state...and how caring of you to work to tidy it up.

Don't lose hope - it's a long journey back from where you've been. I wish that I could show you the way...only I'm walking right there beside you.

CLC said...

Sounds like a good plan to tidy the place up and focus your energy on. It's sad to think it's not better taken care of. I am sorry. Hang in there.

Sophie said...

Hi Anna,
It's so sad that the garden is neglected but wonderful that you are going to work in it. Perhaps you'll meet others there that will help you?

You letter to Toren is beautiful.

Sending you hugs,

Ya Chun said...

That cementary is shameful! I would ask at the office if it is perpetual care. They probably get a tax write off for donating the land to the hospital.
perhaps they would help if families with babies there go together to help with the upkeep. It would be a nice way to spend some grief energy.
thinking of you...

Meg said...

What a beautiful letter to your dear boy. I think making that place nicer is a great idea. And, if it gives you something to live for for right now, then it's wonderful! I'm so sorry this is so hard to you and all baby lost mamas.

janis said...

((hugs)) mama! What a noble and beautiful thing you did, tidying up the place.
And I read your letter to Toren... it's so beautiful, and heart-breaking. Please do not lose hope that he will come to you again... he is safe, chaperoned by Jizo.
Much love to you... xoxo

Sara said...

Oh Anna, what a sad thing. Could you write a letter to the hospital or mortuary or whoever and ask them what's up? It is shameful that there is no placard there.

Your letter to Toren is beautiful and so sad. I'm sorry things are so rough for you.