We live near to a medium-sized Catholic cemetery, St. Mary's, where I like to walk sometimes. In the months immediately after Halia's stillbirth, I especially liked walking there because I felt like it was a safe place to sink into my grief, and I would walk its little roads with tears streaming down my face. They have a section of the cemetery that they call, "Babyland," that is overseen by a little statue of an angel. I always walk by Babyland and straighten up the flowers and other things left at those stones. I feel such tenderness towards the babies who rest there and their families who love them.
The style of this cemetery is so different from a Jewish cemetery, and before Halia's death, I was not too comfortable with the style at St. Mary's. But now I have become so fond of all the lavish silk flowers and other grave decorations, of the angels and other figurines watching over the graves. They are such obvious expressions of love and heartfelt connection, and they raise my spirits. It brings me hope to be in a place where love is freely expressed, where grief does not remain so heavy.
Today, my thoughts were mainly of my grandmother, Diana Stimson Webb, who died on October 7, 2009. She comes from the non-Jewish side of the family, and both she and my grandfather were cremated. We spread their ashes in various places with particular meaning to them. A few days after Grandmother died, my mother and I walked the paths of the state park behind her home and spread some of her ashes. It is so fitting to me to think of her forever along those trails that she walked regularly and loved dearly.
Day 7 of 31 ~ 3 Cheshvan 5774