I finally went to the cemetery this past weekend. It was a bit hard to go but I was determined to visit before winter sets in.
DH came with me and was quite supportive. I gave him the job of clipping the grass edges around the nameplate (we don’t have tombstones at our cemetery) which kept him busy. I think he gets a bit unsure of what to do at the cemetery. We brought fresh flowers and put them in the built-in vase so the site looked nice (as far as gravesites go!). Neither of my siblings have ever visited the grave so I am the only one who even checks in on it. Overall, the cemetery is very well kept but there are a few graves there that are in need of some TLC. I guess those graves don’t get visitors or all their family have passed on or moved away.
I asked for a few minutes to myself so DH went & waited in the car. I had a little cry and talked to my parents a bit about how much I miss them, our dysfunctional family and the direction (or lack thereof) of my life. I know this all sounds insane, but when you lose your parents and you’re standing over their graves, you tend to “talk” to them. No matter how much anyone else loves you in your life, nobody ever replaces your parents. I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife or anything but it just feels good to “talk” to them, even if you’re really just talking to a bunch of dirt and grass.
I seemed to be okay and did well with the visit. However, later that day, I got a bit moody and pensive. It was the 17th anniversary of my father’s passing so I was feeling a little emotional about that too. I thought back to that day and where I was in my life (I was 17 years old) and look at where I am now and have mixed feelings. I think I’ve done well in my life so far. I have definitely accomplished some things – I finished my education, got a pretty good job and have a great DH (which is a vast improvement over the person I was dating 17 years ago – wow!). However, I also get critical of myself. I wonder if I’ve done well enough. I wonder if my parents would be happy with how I’ve turned out? I got into quite funk and ended up having a little cry while I was falling asleep that night. Crazy, I know. I recovered the next day and I’m okay now. It was just an emotional day. But I’m glad I went to the cemetery. Some people might say “don’t go if it upsets you” but I really like to visit, even once a year. Even though it upsets me a bit, I almost feel better after visiting.
On a lighter note...now that I teased you with a hint of what kind of person I was dating when I was 17, I have to share that story! I was dating this guy (we’ll call him “J”) for a week before my father died. J was a nice enough guy but I’m pretty sure my father dying was a bit much for him to handle. We were 17 years old and my father’s death was quite sudden and unexpected. When I called J to tell him about what happened, he really didn’t have much to say; I don’t think he knew what to say! Later that weekend, I called him to let him know of the visitation/funeral arrangements and he said something like “I can’t make it because I have school”. I wasn’t really bothered by this because I really had bigger issues on my mind.
We dated for a couple of months afterwards (only seeing each other now & then) and I finally decided it really wasn’t for me. On Christmas morning, I called J up from work. I offered to work that day – I worked part-time retail - and really, I didn’t mind. It got me out of the house on a difficult day. We wished each other a Merry Christmas. There was a slight pause and then I said something about wanting to break up and he agreed somehow. I wish I could remember the wording – it’s hilarious now that I think about it! Can you picture it? I must sound like a diabolical person – working on Christmas Day and calling up my boyfriend to break up over the phone within a matter 30 seconds in a curt and businesslike manner. Haha! Oh, I crack myself up somedays.