Tomorrow the tombstone will be placed on the grave of our little girl. The time has finally come. At this moment nothing on her grave is readable anymore. Even the letters on the temporary stone can no longer be distinguished. We put off choosing a stone for a long time and then we was a delay in the process. In the end we had to sort out everything all over again. But now it is done. We selected a stone type and color, chose the way in which the soil has to be divided, a text, a font and finally a font color.
The message that the stone has been made and will be placed does a lot to me. I hate the idea that tough workers are going to pour concrete on my child’s grave. Because that has to be done first. Concrete is covering the place where she lies. Our precious girl.
It makes her even more inaccessible.
The lady who helped us choose everything concerning the gravestone asked if we would like to be there when the stone will be laid. I thought back to when we buried her and how I had to keep myself from doing irrational things, like wanting to climb back into the hole to get my child out and take her home with me. I fought that urge for weeks. I kept thinking: ‘How can I leave her alone in that cold?’
I don’t like to think about the fact that my daughter is laying there. So I decided to not be there when the stone is placed. Still, I have the feeling that I should be there. It’s like when my other kids go through something important or bad. In those times you pack yourself back together and just come along to assist your child in what it has to undergo, whether you can take it or not. You don’t leave your child alone.
But this child does not need this. She is safe in the arms of her Heavenly Father, as we wrote on her stone. She doesn’t need her mother to come over. She doesn’t need her mother to be there when her place is made beautiful. She doesn’t need anything from me.
A sob wells up. The craving for my little girl is still there. The desire to be there for her, to care for her, to stand up for her remains. Tomorrow the gravestone will be placed and she finally has a beautiful place with her name written on it legibly. With words that remind me and everyone who comes there that there are eternal arms around us.
It was the last thing we could do, I wrote almost two years ago. And now the time has come. Tomorrow the stone will be placed and the grave will be closed for good.
First published in Dutch on November 21, 2019