Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

The Waiting Place

Monday, April 6, 2015
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When I typed the word cemetery, it came up in spell check. Well, I had transposed one of the letter e’s for a letter a. While correcting the error, it occurred to me that the traditional, correct spelling of this word was COMPLETELY WRONG! I think it should be spelled c-e-m-e-n-t-a-r-y, because it is permanent, like cement.

The cementary is the place I have to go to ‘visit’ my husband, to see his name carved into a stone that will stand in place, many years after I am also gone.   It is a place where tears form as I drive through the gates and a profound sense of loss overwhelms me. It is a place I hate to go, but a place that calls me to come.

To someone watching, it is a place it seems I am talking to myself. A place I probably appear somewhat off my rocker! It is where I tell my husband how much I miss him and what has been happening in our lives. It is where I plea for him to watch over our daughters and help guide their decisions, secretly hoping there is some crazy, divine way for him to do that.

It is a place we sometimes come and throw down a blanket – and have a picnic with his memory. It is a place where my kids and I leave tokens of our love for him, reminders of the holidays and events we are experiencing without him next to us. It is a place I can cry in front of strangers; they don’t care and they don’t judge, they share some common form of my pain.

Sometimes the cementary is a place where families gather in song. Many times when I visit, there are generations of families with guitars and voices paying homage to someone they lost – in a much more spirited manner than I can muster. 

It is a place to feel mortal and confused. Why so soon? Why him? Why not me? Why now?  Why our family? Why my kids?

It is a place to confess, and to make excuses.  I’ve never been a parent of teenagers. It’s hard. I never thought she would lie to me; to my face. She said she hated me. She stormed out the door – into the cold. I went after her. It’s really hard. I’m trying my best. I never thought I’d be doing this without you. I don’t know if I am doing it right.

It is a place to make promises. I will do my best with our girls. I always try to think of things you might say, or do or teach them. We will never forget you. You will always be a part of me, of us. Don’t be mad if I sometimes appear happy. I have an emptiness without you in my life that will never be filled by anyone else. But I have to live in the present, I have to, for me.

Yes, the cementary is a sad place. But, it is also a place where I can remember the fragility of life and how incredibly lucky I am to have another day of it.  It is the place where my husband can never let me down – he won’t be working late, or tied up in a meeting, or off on a business trip, he will always be there for me. It is a place I will forevermore find him, a permanent place, like cement. 

I kiss his stone, and slowly walk away, both of us knowing that I’ll be back soon. He waits there for me.


Kris, I can't imagine your profound loss, but I think Steve is still playing an important role in raising your girls. Not what should be. Not fair - for sure. I also think you should know, the teenage years will end and you'll come out the other side better for having ridden out the tough days.

Kris that is so sad and beautiful at the same time. I still yet have to place my husbands ashes into the cemetary but can't seem to let go.

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