Monday, May 21, 2012

Went to the Cemetery Today

Today my husband and I made the rounds to the cemeteries, first to his grand dad's and then to his parents and ended our trip at Asbury Cemetery where our daughter, Megan is buried, in addition to my Dad and maternal grandparents.  For some reason, it was an especially emotional outing for me.  I never had the chance to know my husband's grandfather or his parents, and my Dad passed away in 1992.  My precious Megan passed away in 1981 at the age of 3 1/2 and I have made many trips to the cemetery since then.  So why, today, did I fall apart and cry all the way home?  My heart was broken as I thought back on the 31 years since our Megan passed away as the result of a brain tumor.  I couldn't help but wonder what my beautiful daughter would have contributed to the lives of all who knew her and what kind of a person I would have become by being her mother.  Although my life has certainly been blessed by the births of my son in 1984 and daughter in 1986, I have to wonder if I would have been a better mother had I not loved and lost my firstborn.  Did I lose that childlike innocence that allows one to love completely and unconditionally, without fear of the heartbreak that comes only when you have lost a child?  I know that something deep inside of me changed the day that my firstborn died.  Although I never doubted God's presence in my life, I never again felt the security of knowing that would follow the natural path of seeing my children grow to adulthood and live long beyond my years on earth.  I want my children to know that I love them more than anything and that I value them above all else.  Have I let them know how much better my life has been because of them?  They have been there to witness my weaknesses, but do they really understand why I been weak?  Why have I not shared with them those heartaches that have made me the person I am today?  All of those questions have stayed with me since I visited the cemetery today and my heart feels heavy.....  


  1. Aunt Brenda, you are a great mom, a great aunt, and have always been a great friend to us. Even with the long lapses between our visits, I still think of you often, and of all the great memories I have of being at your house. I'm so sorry that this was exceptionally hard on you today. Being a mother now, I could not even begin to fathom the heartache. I can only imagine though that Jenna and Tyler would have to know that they have an amazing mother. They have children of their own now, and I think it takes that to understand how much a parent loves their children.... And how your soul itself would be changed by losing a child. Will be thinking of you! Miss you!

  2. I remember first meeting you both, not long after Megan had passed away. The heartache still fresh for both of you, the sadness so acute. I remember you and I talking about Megan and I never cried in front of you because I knew you needed me not to, but when I'd leave, I cried. I never knew Megan but your pain was so great I couldn't help but cry for you and Sonny. If I, somebody who never knew Megan, felt the sadness so overwhelming, then I can't imagine how you, as her parents, even began to cope. They say God doesn't give us more than we can handle but that doesn't mean we have the ability to handle it gracefully or heroically all of the time. Sometimes, all you can do is let your feet hit the floor and be thankful if your legs hold you up. That in itself can be heroic. I was also there when you brought Tyler and Jenna home and witnessed the love bestowed upon both of them from two amazing people. I have no doubt that, through all of your perfect imperfections, you loved your children with 100% of your heart, and in the end, it is the love that counts. To loose a child is the most devastating event a parent can face. Most of us never have that devastation placed upon us, but still as parents, we make mistakes. We have regrets, things we wish we'd said or didn't say, things we wish we'd done or hadn't done, things that keep us awake at night crying. Don't we all wish we could go back and do it over, have more time, recognize what's important and what's not, and get it all right. But alas, life wasn't meant to be perfect. I sat down with my girls one day, told them how much I loved them and all the things I was sorry for. I answered their questions as openly and honestly as I could. I found it amazingly healing as I hope they did too. With age I've come to realize that in the same way we forgive our parents imperfections, and many times those perfections become the things we laugh, love and remember, our children do us the same courteousy. Love is what matters and withstands the test of hardships, heartaches, failures, imperfections, disappointments and time. My brother and dad have been gone for some years now but their love is still with me every day as mine is with them. Our relationships were not without all of those things but only the beauty of love remains. And I laugh now daily at their quirks and imperfections. You are one of the kindest people I know. Please be kind to yourself as well. I hope the heavy heart you carry is lightened very soon.