DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's feet at her husband's grave
Missing Shawn

Reflections at Your Grave on Easter Weekend

I’m sitting on your grave, typing.  The workers here already think that I’m crazy – I saw one of them gesture towards me a few minutes ago when I laid my head in the grass – but I’m just going to keep writing.  I’m not like all the other visitors.  I’ve been here for an hour, and I’ve seen the mourners come and go.  They drive up, get out slowly from their cars, and walk to a grave.  Maybe they bring flowers.  Maybe they stare at the grave for a while.  But after a few minutes, they leave.

I’m not sure why they would leave on such a beautiful day.  The wind is chilly and I have my hoodie pulled around my head, but the sun is shining and the clouds are just wisps of white in the sky.  It was your favorite kind of day.  I think it’s too cold, but you would have thought it was the prettiest day of the year.  If you were alive, we’d have a million people in our backyard right now, and you’d be grilling hot dogs for the kids.  If I close my eyes, I can imagine it as though it is real.

Instead, I open my eyes and stare out at the trees in the distance.  I haven’t been here for a month, and they look different.  They are more full of life.  More full of springtime.  It’s Easter weekend, so that makes sense, I guess.

Life.  In the oddest way, it’s everywhere here.

Your grave is beautiful – much more modern and interesting than the ones that surround yours.  In fact, right next to yours is Albert and Helena Boyer’s grave, born in 1909 and 1910, respectively.  They died in old age, and I bet you’d have a great joke about hanging out underground with them.  Still, looking at their markers makes me mad, in a way.  Albert lived to 78 and Helena made it to 85.  They lived all their lives together, it seems, and now they rest in a place where the trees bloom with pink flowers this time of year.

On the hill near where I sit is a massive concrete statue in the shape of praying hands.  I can’t look at it without remembering our children running to play on that hill in the moments before they put your body in the ground.  I could barely stand on that day, but they jumped and skipped on that hill as though they were at a park.  It was so heartbreakingly beautiful.  I know you would have thought so too.

I’ll go to Costco later, get some eggs and a few super-sized boxes of Frosted Mini-Wheats for my dad.  He loves those.  You always wanted frozen fruit to make smoothies, so much so that 15 months later I’m still eating through what I find at the bottom of the chest freezer.  It’s strange, to think of how I once went to Costco to buy food for you, for us, for our lives.  Now I still go, because of course I still go, but I don’t buy food for you.  Instead, I come to your grave beforehand and listen to the rustle of the trees and think about all that you are missing.