This is a photo of my mother's grave as it was today (with the surname censored!). I went to visit for the first time since she was buried, which was exactly two weeks ago. Heck, I think I was there at the very time she would have been buried. I took some flowers I picked from our garden that I think she really would have liked (you can see them just to the left of the cross, in a jar), and a little metal dragon fly thing that bobs in the wind. I also took the little fake yellow roses in the pink paper. As much as I don't like fake flowers, I have to admit they last a whole lot more than real ones, in summer, and these ones didn't look too fake. The real ones I took were already wilting by the time I got there, which was kind of disappointing, but as you know, it's the gesture, I think.
It was nice, I sat beside the grave for a while. I didn't talk to her or anything because I know she's not there. I didn't even think about her that much. But it was really nice and peaceful. I think I'll try to go back every two weeks or something like that. The plot is still sandy, I don't know when they're going to put grass seeds in, I wonder if my dad and I have to take care of that? We haven't really thought about the headstone yet, except that we want it to be different than all the rest of the ones there. My aunty Joy who died two years ago has a beautiful headstone at the same graveyard, a piece of West Coast rock that my uncle fashioned into a grave stone himself. My dad's first wife is also buried there, two rows away from Mum, and my grandparents are there also. I never met them. But it's quite nice to see a few people's gravestones while you're there. I took a single flower to Joy, my grandparents and Jean's graves as well as the bunches on Mum's.
The funny thing about death is that although the afterlife is so illogical to some people, it really makes sense once it happens to someone you know so well. Death actually makes it easier for me to believe in God, in some ways. My mother is no longer within her body, I can see that easily. But there's no way I can believe that my mother's soul, the essence of her personality and spirit and ways has just disappeared. Although her soul may not be physical, there's substance to it, and that will last far longer than physical things that just turn into dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but God put something of himself into us--we're made in the image of him--and God can't just fade away.
That poem, Footprints in the Sand, where a man is walking down a beach and talking to God, and he asks God why, when he was going through the most difficult times of his life, there is only one set of footprints walking, not two, and God replies, "Those were the times I carried you"--as much as I get sick of that poem because people always quote it-- It's True. The last few weeks I have felt abnormally at peace. Even more than I usually am, with nothing going wrong. Sometimes I have felt like I can't feel God around me, and I've wished he would be more tangible in my life, but all the same--I am sure of it, he has carried me.
Psalm 40vv1-3 (NLT): I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
So I'm going to praise him, no matter how I feel about his current tangible presence, or what's happening to me, because he is always with me, he has walked in my shoes, he understands me more than anyone else ever could, and I love him.
I am happy that you can't prove what's happened in my life because of him. It could be just a fluke, I suppose. But I am happy that finally I'm coming to see that sometimes the step I take to believe, the risk I take, gives me something that is better than proof.