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Reflections at the Cemetery: Grieving and Finding Strength

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As I sit at your grave staring at the flowers and the ground, I wonder how and why life ended up this way. I look down and silently talk to you, as I tell you all that has happened in my life in these past three years, and of course I wonder about you. I hope you’re happy and you’re smiling from somewhere not too far out of reach.

Then I look up, and I see the sun. I look to my right and see people doing just what I’m doing, and we exchange a simple, knowing glance of grief. In the distance, I see a family bonding at another grave, sharing laughter, tears and memories about their loved one. Then I look around, and in the same instant, I see people running and/or walking with great concentration, or talking with friends, pushing baby strollers, and experiencing life.

It’s been three years since I’ve been continuously going to visit you and my infant twin sister in a place I so wish I never had to. It is a heartbreaking destination. But, I’ve also come to find it to be a place of love, hope, connection and action. It’s a place full of contradictions. See, for me, wrapped up in the heaviness of this place, there is also light, and life.

It is here I’ve allowed myself to thoroughly experience grief, and it is here I’ve found the strength to continue to fully experience life in the best way I can. It is here I continue to question how I’m going to live the rest of my life without you, and it is here I continue to keep thinking of and working towards achieving the things we talked about.

It is here I will continue to try to find the light in the darkness. It is here I will continue to say “thank you” for your life, and “thank you” for mine too — even when life feels almost impossible. It is here where I try to think of you as not only “here,” but everywhere. Here, in the cemetery, is a place full of beautiful and tragic contradictions.

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Originally published: October 31, 2017
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