Ethan died five years ago and this is something most people who follow me know. I haven’t been shy in my grief, and I make it a point to let everyone know I had a son before Bear.
What a lot of people don’t know is that we haven’t purchased a grave marker for Ethan.
It’s complicated. It really has nothing to do with money nor time. It’s the finality of it all. Once that marker is in place, then I know for sure, this did happen.
Now you might be wondering, ‘Well, how could you not have known since you’ve talked about it?’ Grief is a funny thing. Sometimes, if you try hard enough, you can think it didn’t happen at all and it was just a bad dream. Does someone really want to reminisce the time they went to Target to pick out an outfit to bury their son in? Does anyone want to remember what mood they were in when a certain song is playing because it reminds them of their son’s funeral?
But almost all of the time, you know it did happen and your mind is trying to keep you from going insane by inserting that defense mechanism to protect you.
I’m not sure what spurned me to look up grave markers. Maybe it’s because it’s been five years and I figured it’s time my baby boy actually has a marker on his grave. Originally, we wanted Ethan to be buried with us but moving his grave might be too costly to do so. I do hope we can be buried near him, though.
I don’t visit Ethan as much as I should have and to be perfectly honest with you, it’s been a long while since I’ve visited his gravesite, though I talk to him regularly and feel his presence. I’m not too sure if having a marker means I’ll start visiting more often, honestly. But I just hate the fact he’s there with no marker on his grave at all.
So, now I’m in the process of searching for the perfect grave marker for my son. I’m going to make an appointment next week to talk to the folks at his memorial park and see what options I have.
But yeah, it sucks. There’s no two ways about it. I wish I could be all light and joyful about this but I just can’t. One of the many aftereffects of dealing with infant and child loss. It truly stays with you forever.