Ten months ago in our village,
a young boy aged fifteen died.
Every day since his funeral,
his dad sits by his grave.
He is sometimes joined by other family members,
but mostly he’s alone.
He arrives every day, early morning,
and stays until after dark,
leaving briefly at lunch and dinnertime to eat.
I have to pass the graveyard most days.
I sometimes drive a different route,
so as not to see him there.
Its not that I do not feel intense sadness,
for this man.
Its just that every time I pass,
it forces me to think of my own mortality,
and that of my families,
and in doing so I feel like shouting out,
“Your son is not in there”.
“How sad that after all they must have shared,
as a family,
that this grave, in a lonely graveyard,
is where he feels closest to his son”.
I have spoken with my own family about this,
usually prompted by us passing the graveyard.
In those conversations,
I have made it very clear,
that if ever I do “check out”,
I would hope they can still find me in different places.
Maybe when they hear a really bad joke,
or read my journal or blog.
Maybe when they tie their shoe laces,
or enjoy a book.
Maybe in the different phrases they use,
or when they look at our garden.
Maybe when they see the kitchen in a state,
or smell something burning!
I do not have faith in an afterlife,
so I cannot preach happy ever after.
However, I do know that even though my own dad,
“checked out” over twenty years ago,
I do not believe he is in his grave,
dead and buried.
He lives on in my children,
and in my brothers and sisters.
He is especially near,
when I see fishing trawlers,
and is beside me whenever I smell freshly sawn wood.
He is smiling when I read a beautiful poem,
and comforts me when I am sad.
I do not know how I would cope,
if such a tragedy as befell this family came my way.
But I do hope I would not ease my grief in a graveyard.
As I look at this man daily,
I dearly wish that,
some day he may look around
and see all the beautiful places,
where he might still be near his son.
photo credit: tj.blackwell via photopin cc
photo credit: SwaloPhoto via photopin cc
photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc
33 thoughts on “Letting Go.”
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Oh thank you so very very much. I will happily receive this award. It may be a time before I post it as I did a post on sunday “awards”. I dont want to appear to be boasting!!!
Thank you again. Of all the awards, A versatile blog is a good accolade.
thanks. Now you know how I feel every day I pass!
Wow, this was great! I promise that if you “check out” that anytime I pop a wine cork, I’ll remember my blogger pal from Cork!
Brilliant!! A very fitting memorial to me for sure!! I will sleep in peace knowing that.
And also I shall remember you when i hear a sarcastic Irish quip. Lol.
Me sarcastic!! That is the cultural divide! 🙂
I wonder if he’s really there to find his son. I could see myself being so grief-stricken that I wouldn’t know where else to go. The grief at the loss of a loved one, especially a child, can be paralyzing.
Great post, I’ll return often to read.
Thank you. My heart breaks for him every day. As i said I have no idea how I would cope but if I was gone, I’d like my gang to move on and remember me in a better way.
Delighted to welcome you to my blog!
This was absolutely beautiful..once again. I feel the same way about my lost loved one’s..they are never truly lost; we can always find them in our family and in our world. Great job and you are an Inspiration! So, feel free to boast!
Thank you so much. I was going to post a happy fun post, then I collected my son and passed the graveyard in the pitch dark, and saw this boys dad still there. So I came home and wrote this freely. As you do when you just “feel” the post.
I have never visited the spot where I buried my wife’s ashes because what I buried there was the residue of her lifeless body. It was not the person I loved.
I can understand this man’s grief, and his vigil, but his son is not buried in that graveyard – only an empty shell crumbling into dust
If he is comforted in his grief by a belief in an afterlife and the thought that he can in some way communicate with his son’s spirit, he should seek solace not in the graveyard but in places that hold memories of happy times they shared together.
In time he may come to understand that his son is not truly gone and that he carries him in his heart wherever he goes
Hopefully. It is unimaginable to think of his grief, but to see him in the graveyard all day is so grim! I’m sure you carried the best of your wife home in your heart, the day she was cremated. I remember reading your link you sent me about that and that is the impression I got. So you have no reason to look for her.
That poor man. Hopefully he will soon be able to spend his days at home and then out in the world again. I have never been back to the graveyard where my mother was buried years ago but I have reminders of her everywhere I look—including in the mirror. 🙂 That’s where I find her.
Ah yes mothers. The harder we try the more we fail to not look and act like them! Sorry you’ve lost her (in the physical sense). Now you all know why my posts are late, I go the long way home to avoid the graveyard!
p.s. Beautifully written, by the way.
Thanks a mil. Appreciate the comment.
I once read an article of a man who deep-froze his son in an attempt to keep him by his side. I can understand the pain and the loss both these men felt which compels them to do so. I believe that spirits do exist in this world, because they still have cares left here. Only when the ones they left behind let go, can they leave in peace. We have a belief that the spirit of those who have “checked out” return for a visit on the seventh day after their passing. When my grandfather passed away a big giant butterfly flew into our house on the seventh day. I still believe it was my grandfather because after reassuring him that the family was fine and that he can rest assured, he flew off and we never saw that butterfly again.
Oh wow fab story. I know people who believe a feather is a sign of a loved one passing by. In this country we have an organisation for still born babies called “Feilachain” (fail a cawn) which means butterfly, because of the association in folklore of the butterfly and passed love ones.
Love this today. It speaks of the legacies we leave behind us, and how we won’t be so hard to find, even when we pass on.
Yes hopefully we are “unforgettable!”, she types whilst the smell of burnt porridge continues to linger in the kitchen! Ha Ha
I scrolled down the comments and saw your comment about feeling a post. That’s how I do it sometimes. Very touching. I love your range of emotion here. Like i said before, I never know what to expect except that it is always real.
Send him love♡
I will too.
Thank you Laurie. I love to see you visit.
So sad that that Dad can not find his son in memories and places. Once again Tric you have written beautifully…full of compassion and love. Like John my Dad lives on through his grandchildren, places, memories and things.
Thanks Mary .I think those two were very alike, quiet but they have left a huge mark.
That is so true. There is no way you couldn’t know they were brothers physically (even though they were not mirror images) and in personality. Have wonderful memories of your Dad and I could share them privately with you sometime if you like.
Beautiful piece…maybe the Dad will see your blog somehow…it would certainly help him…
I often think as I pass, maybe time will help. But its nearly a year and no change.
Yeah, I wish that for him too. Lovely post.
Thank you. It is a post I cannot forget as even today he was there sitting on a chair, all day. Great to see you visit.
This is beautifully written, and sad. As the mother of a child who died, I believe that we each have such a unique and important process of grieving. It seems odd and sad to us that this is how this father needs to mourn, but it must be what he needs to do, until he doesn’t any longer…I send love to this man, and prayers for his healing.
I am deeply grateful that I feel my daughter in so many places, in so many ways, and that I can feel joy, gratitude and love, along with the sorrow and longing. I feel her when I write (she was a writer and I feel she assists me, especially when I write of her and our experiences together), and in my heart wherever I go.
I am so glad you read this. I have not lost a child but would hate to think I could not continue to find them around me. Your comment assures me that I could. When I read your posts I often think of this man, who incidentally is still by the grave every day. From a readers viewpoint I can certainly feel your daughter in your writing.