Friday, May 8, 2015

Honoring Her Uncle and Grandmother

I'm in South Carolina this week with my sister-in-law, Kala. A couple evenings ago, we visited the country cemetery where some of her relatives are layed to rest, including her uncle who was stillborn.

I hope Lily's life allows others who have had losses in their own family somewhere down the line to connect to that life and loss more intimately.

Kala will never know her uncle or the cousins she might have had. When a baby dies, so does the possibility of many other lives.

We took a flower to his beautiful stone, which also has a lamb on it like Lily's does. I wanted to honor him just by being there and talking about his life, though brief.

I wonder what the experience of his mother, Edna (Kala's grandmother), was like all those decades ago when the loss of a baby was much more hush-hush. I feel it's my responsibility to speak out for the generations of women before me who felt they couldn't.

And I only hope that one day when I'm gone from this world, that people will continue to visit Lily's stone, the one I poured my time and heart into making perfect for her. And I hope they'll bring her flowers and honor her life simply by talking about her and acknowledging her existence. In doing so, they'll honor me as well, as a mother, just as I hope I've done for this mother who is now reunited with her son.


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