Monday, 2 June 2014

There is something about kids at a cemetery

Jenn and son, Jesse
Jesse Martyn flew in from Chemainus (Vancouver Isl.),
where he is in rehearsals for Les Mis.
It's been a year for hatchings, matchings and dispatchings, as my faithful reader friends know. Well, no hatchings other than our Phoebes in the shed, Jesse says there isn't time for them this year, he was married in May, 2014!
I went for the ceremony of the interment of my ex-husband. My children were there, as was my current husband, my ex's 2nd wife, and her family and friends. It is wonderful seeing the whole mourning process from the eyes of my grandchildren. We talked about Grampa Pat being in heaven, where he has a new life, a new home and a new body. They will miss Grampa, but he is still in their hearts and memories. It rather synthesizes one's own beliefs having to articulate and discuss them. I was happy to attend, for their sake, as it is important for them to have attachments to all of their family members and see that there is solidarity.

I asked what they remembered about Grampa Pat. Isabelle remembered him holding her when she was a baby. "Like this!" she demonstrated, arms in the infant-holding position. She must have photos she has looked at! It was adorable. I can't remember what Josephine said. I shall have to ask her again. This is a good way to manage your grief, take it out a little at a time, learn to manage small portions of it, and then carry on.

My 4-year-old granddaughter assured me that they will have a head stone with his name on it. She was interested in the lever that lowers the coffin. (Where did she learn that word?!) Obviously, my daughter had had preparatory chats with them about what to expect. They were quite interested in the hole in the ground and the foot prints that were there. After that, we went to look at the other stones and talked about the symbols while we waited for the ceremony to begin. Some are flat, some are tall, some have a lot of writing, some images; angels, fairies, pictures. 

I didn't point it out to the girls, but you can see how some stones represent young people whose lives have been lost too soon (See Jesse James Andrew Shay -age 26; and Tyler Luke Campbell- age 17, below). Isabelle's favourite stone was the one that looked like a rock and had "39" on it! She collected 4 pine cones, and that was exciting. I gave her my spare handkerchief and tied them up in it for her.

It was a beautiful day. The sun shone. It was warm. There were some tears from my children, but they have memories of a good father. Lots of hugs, a few tears, but smiles, too.


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Your family has really been through a lot. So sorry for your loss.

Red said...

It's good that you took the time to show the kids around and explain some things about death. Hopefully some of it will stay with them and allow them to come to terms with grief as it enters our lives from time to time.

Nancy J said...

A special day Jennifer, and lovely to see your grandies there, some families try to hide death and all things associated with it, but I believe even little ones should know. You have had a trying year, and too many events too close together are sometimes way too hard. Cheers, Jean.

Kay L. Davies said...

Love and hugs, my dear friend.

William Kendall said...

A trying year indeed.

It does look like a peaceful cemetery.

Anonymous said...

WHat a special day - so glad you all have good memories.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
...that fine really was the bitter cherry...

...death is a part of life and these photos demonstrate that cycle so perfectly. May your grandchildren continue to be a salve. YAM xx

Christine said...

so much going on in your life this year Jenn.