Five year cemetery visit

On April 5 and 6 we remembered Israel's life and legacy. We use both days because he passed away sometime between the 5th and 6th and his birthday is April 6. This year the days matched up with the dates as the year he died so the memories were extra powerful.

Ever since Israel died, I have taught Laura who he is and showed pictures. I have tried to fill in the blanks as much as possible. But I can only do so much. No, I haven't told her that he took his own life, but I did say that he made a mistake and took too much medicine. One day I'll tell her. I know she will be hurt, angry and confused. However, why explain that to a five year old?

I took her to the cemetery on April 5. During the week we discussed it, picked flowers and had many conversations. I took her there before and she seemed to handle it pretty well. This year was a completely different story.

After school, we went directly to the cemetery. It was a bit weird feeling because the weather was like it was at the funeral. Burying your husband at 31 isn't something I ever expected. Coming to terms that I was a widow and a single mother was even more overwhelming. His funeral service was painfully fast and slow. I remember talking to my priest asking him not to make it drawn out because I simply didn't think I could handle it.

When someone dies, the choices and decisions keep coming. It's good in a way because it keeps your mind busy but at the same time - you much rather be doing something else. I remember sitting at the funeral home being asked so many questions. A couple just made me burst out in tears like do you want him to keep his wedding band? I personally didn't want it due to anger of the suicide but then I had to think if Laura wanted it. I decided to let him keep it. When he bought the ring, I remember him saying that he wasn't big on jewellery but if it meant that he was married to me - he would cherish it forever,

So back to the present. When we got to the cemetery, we found the grave stone. It already had flowers on it which made me feel good. Then Laura took out a picture that she made in the morning. It was a cut out drawing she made of herself, me and Israel. She laid that down and the flowers. She decorated the grave stone and walked around asking me about the others buried there.

Before we left, Laura bursted out in tears! She was so sad because she did not remember him. She knew how nice he was when she was a baby from my stories. She cried and cried. I explained that it's okay to be sad and I miss him too. I let her decide when she wanted to leave. In the van, she said she was more sad than losing her favorite toy! As her mother, I always try to make everything better but this was out of my ability.

She asked that when we go back to give her more private time so she can have a private conversation with her father. She said she is lucky to have two fathers but misses the one that is in Heaven.


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