23 November 12
Before heading south, we stopped at the cemetery where Elijah is buried. While we were up north, I received an email to say that Elijah’s plaque was installed on his grave. It’s odd to receive correspondence that diminishes my only son to a bit of metal on a small plot of land.
Today marks five months since I last held Elijah’s breathing body. I had no idea about death, no experience of it — just a certainty that it was a part of the circle of life and I would navigate it when I passed through.
I didn’t know that I would observe death without participating in it. I didn’t know that life would offer me a challenge such as this. I didn’t know I was strong enough to survive the double blow of losing my son and husband on the same night.
I didn’t know that it was possible keep living after my heart is buried in a small white box and left to rot in the ground. And I probably wouldn’t still be living if my heart wasn’t also beating in the four other small bodies that constantly surround me.
For there is no reason to live — apart from those I devote my life to. And I have four very powerful reasons to persist with life — pursuing life in abundance — however much pain I am going through.
Five months is a long time to endure this pain, and from the testimony of others, it will continue the rest of my life. I ache when I see others’ baby boys, when a memory crosses my mind, when … anything. It just doesn’t go away, and yet the girls smile and laugh around me, and I return to their immediate company, knowing that they want my attention and my devotion.
It’s good to be moving on, away from the physical places that remind me so much of Elijah, but I can’t ever escape from him in my mind, except by staying in the present. We have a sparkling adventures in front of us — new lands to explore and exciting people to meet. “Let’s go,” I say, and we leave the graveyard, ready to go back to the land of the living.