I'm writing this letter in my head as I press through a summer rainstorm. I have to hold my colorful umbrella with two hands and push it against the wind and unrelenting rain. My sandals were soaked by the time I made it one block. By block two I removed them and walked barefoot across the rocky asphalt and streaming murky water rushing down the streets. The sharpness of the rocks is welcome.
I didn't start with a destination. I just had to leave. It is fitting that it is storming. The sky grumbles like a ravenous stomach, lightening cracks across the greyness. I'm not concerned about my umbrella catching a bolt, I'm not even concerned that I can't hear or see cars approach over the rushing water and my umbrella's flapping. Although it crossed my mind, I don't care.
I don't care that walking in the rain on purpose is taboo here. Hell, walking anywhere regardless of the weather is taboo here. Walking is reserved for the car-less and poor. I'm sure I look crazy, walking at a determined, angry pace with my rainbow colored umbrella and bare feet. I don't care. Every step I take is in defiance to this place. This place so far from you.
The rain is warm and pleasant. My legs are now soaked. I pressed on, over the highway and toward the cemetery. On a better day I might have danced in this rain with my daughters. The lost opportunity irritates me, I keep walking.
The cemetery is the perfect place to think of you. I see it ahead, empty and full of lost souls all at the same time. They are the lucky ones. People loved. What was left of them tenderly buried and prayed over, careful stones marking their spot. Special places where loved ones can go to remember. I weave my way through the first section. I don't have any family buried here. I won't be able to sit by my grandfather's grave and talk on the wind, imagining his counsel and advice... Instead, I silently greet the strangers I pass.
I move toward the oldest part of the cemetery, where the pioneers are buried. They know most of loss. I tenderly pass by tiny white headstones, five in a row, their little names carved carefully below doves.
The bench beneath the weeping willow is broken so I shift my direction toward the next largest tree, hoping it will help shield me from the rain. Under it's leaves the chatter on my umbrella quiets to slight tapping. A large black upright headstone sits at its roots, tilted slightly from their growth. I sit at it's base, my back against the trunk.
You're not here. Or at any other cemetery for that matter. Yet your loss still lingers and stings. I see many headstones simply labeled "Mother" "Father" or "Beloved Daughter." The stone beneath the tree simply says "Erick." No birth date. No death date. I imagine what I would chisel onto a stone for you: "Beloved" No name. No birth date. No death date. Eternal. Unbreakable. Unspeakable.
I watch the greyness of the sky drizzle down to the earth. I mourn you loss.
I will walk back through the slowing storm with my bare feet and bright umbrella to my home with my husband and my daughters. My life. I will leave you here. I'll bury what is left of you tenderly. I pray over you. In this special place where loved ones come to remember. And someday, I'll know how to dance in this rain.
Hi! I'm Amy
I am a Christian wife and mother, a writer, and a recovering perfectionist who is tired of chasing happiness in all the wrong ways. I am now on a journey to find a deeper state of being. Join me on My Peace Project and we'll learn how to survive the chaos together!