Sunday, March 23, 2014

The ugliest thing I have ever seen

I visit Violet's grave every few days. It's not easy to go there, so I don't go daily. I really just go whenever I feel the urge. I felt the urge strong today. I was being pulled there. So, after I ran a few errands with Lyvi we drove over to the cemetery. Her plot is relatively close to where we park, so I can see it as soon as I pull up. It's the most decorated one there. Always will be. I knew they were laying headstones the last couple of weeks, but I didn't expect Vi's to be there for at least a few more weeks. I figured by Memorial Day it would be there. I was wrong. As I pulled up I saw it. I instantly knew her headstone was there. I don't know when they laid it, it could have been there for a few days. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't expect the instant panic. I panicked. Heart racing. Sweating. Nauseous. My daughter has a headstone. I called Angie, then texted Lisa and my Mom. Angie, my mom, dad, and grandma all headed over. Lisa visited a little while later with all her kids. The girls put flowers around the headstone, one of them left a sweet little pearl hairclip. Such sweet girls. It took all my strength to walk from the car to her grave. I was not ok. My shit was not together. I try to keep myself together when Lyvi is with me, but I couldn't today. I cried hard walking over. I saw it. I collapsed. I heaved and sobbed. I rubbed her name. Her beautiful name. The name Rich and I picked for her to grow up with. The name I imagined on a business card of a powerful woman. The name I knew was hers, the instant I said it. My Violet. My sweet Violet. I told her I am so sorry, over and over again. I am so sorry Violet. I am so sorry you have a headstone. I read the saying we put on it. "Our Baby, Our Violetta Villalobos." My Violetta Villalobos. There are a lot of baby graves in the cemetery, too many. But, all their headstones are little. I like that my Violet's headstone isn't little. If she has to have a headstone she deserves a big beautiful one. She shouldn't have a headstone. She should have new toys, new shoes, a new swimsuit, new headbands. Not a new headstone.

 Lyvi normally played in the dirt on Vi's grave and then would run around and play. Try to steal flowers and pinwheels from other graves. Sing, dance, and just be a crazy toddler. Not today. She knew today was different. She sat next to me and touched Vi's headstone. She was quiet. She let me cry. She was sad. She could tell something was different now. It's so final. Violet's grave looks like all the other people's graves there. I don't think she really understands what a graveyard is, but she knows that Violet's grave is significant now. Before, it was just a place we would go, she'd play in the dirt, and then run around. Now there is no dirt. Her sister has a headstone. It is final. Permanent. Written in stone. Rich left for Alaska today, so I snapped a picture and sent it to him. What a terrible picture to have to send to your husband. He told me he was mid-sentence when the picture popped up and he stopped talking. It took his breath away. I'm glad her spot is marked, I'm glad it's not just a small patch of dirt anymore. But, I hate it. I despise it. It is a beautiful headstone, but it is the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

I'm so sorry you have a headstone baby girl. It is not right. I am so sorry. Thank you for looking out for me. You are so amazing. As I was leaving the cemetery I pulled out my phone and checked my email. My friend Stef emailed me. She just said she was thinking of us all and sending her love. She sent it almost exactly to the minute that I pulled up to the cemetery. I emailed her back to tell her how weird it is that she sent that email right then, when I needed a friend most. She said she was overwhelmed with sadness suddenly and needed to email me. She felt you. I 100% believe you are all around, especially when I need you to be. Thank you so much for that my love bucket. Keep close to your daddy, I know it's hard for him to be away. Keep a close on your sister, she's got a nasty cold. It's making me very very nervous. I don't think I will ever look at a cold as anything normal and trivial. One sniffle and I am terrified she's going to die. So, keep close to her if you can. I love you baby girl. I'm so sorry for everything. I hope you are warm. I need to go watch your sister breathe, so I gotta go. Goodnight my sweet Violet.


  1. Oh, Michelle… Michelle, Michelle. I weep for you. This is not right. This is not fair. My heart is aching for you, and I want more than anything to be able to bring her back to you and end your pain… :(

    I was just a kid when I first read this poem on a sympathy card after my grandfather passed, but it's always stuck with me. It's how I remember my loved ones, and how I want to be remembered someday, too. Maybe you've read it too. Your post reminded me of it, so I'm going to share it here.

    Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.

    Mary Elizabeth Frye

  2. I love that poem Kerry. So much. Thank you.