The Stone

My little brother says he wants to go to the cemetery for Father’s Day.

He says he “just wants to.”

I say, “Why? He isn’t there, Garrett.”

I know,” he says. “I just want to go there. I want to see his headstone. I want to talk to him. I want to cry. I just want to.”

Neither of us have seen our dad’s headstone.

The difference between us is that… I have no desire.

In the few days after his death, I talked with my stepmother (of 20 years) about this very subject. She assured me through bawling tears that this was how it had to be because this is what they had talked about. This is what they both wanted.

I will always remember sitting at the table in their kitchen, crying, pleading with her not to put her name on his stone. I will never forget the words I said, nor hers.

I haven’t seen my dad’s headstone because I can’t bear to see her name next to his, knowing that less than two months after his death, someone took his place in her world. I choose not to visit it because it hurts too much knowing that another man helped her rearrange the life my dad left before I even had a chance to touch anything of his. I can’t look at it because I feel rage and bitterness and hurt towards the woman I viewed as a mother almost my whole life. I told her not to do it for this very reason. She insisted this would never happen.

I knew better.

I find comfort in the first two lines of a very famous poem by Mary Frye, which is actually carved in the stone that sits at the head of my grandmother and grandfather’s grave; Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.

I don’t think my dad minds my absence from his gravesite. I don’t even think he minds that his bride is shacked up with another man. I think he is kicking back up there in Paradise with his mother, father, sister, and my other grandpa who thought the world of him. I think our issues down here need to be resolved…. I just don’t see myself letting go in the near future.

Won’t be today.

2 thoughts on “The Stone

  1. ananaomidanielle says:

    The pain you feel is unbearable for me to imagine, I cannot imagine the pain of losing either of my parents. I cannot imagine watching someone take the place of one of my parents, especially so soon. I think that would hurt more than I could handle. I believe that time heals all things and even though years would pass and you would miss your dad you would be able to accept that “she” was going to move on. I think that at some point you and Garrett will both be able to forgive her and move passed this, not because she deserves it, but because as Christians we are taught to love as Christ loved!
    “A new commandment I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” -John 13:34
    In all of the people that I know you are one of the strongest Christians that I know. I am praying for you both during these times of healing.


    • abcmommyof4 says:

      That’s the entire issue in my heart. I sat in that kitchen and told her it was okay to move on some day. I told her that she was young and would still have a life, as she thought hers was over. I told her we all know she will find love again. But I asked her not to put her name on his tombstone for THAT exact reason. I didn’t know that less than two months after he died, she’d have some mechanic at my dad’s house, moving his stuff around! She asked Garrett and I to leave after my dad’s funeral and assured us that “in a couple months” we would all get together and go through his things. We respected that. I can’t and will not ever respect this.


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