Saturday, March 24, 2012

written in stone

I think about my littlest man still.
Like. . .




If not every single hour.

Cuz a mamma can't forget her baby I can't erase his little face from my memory.

I don't want to.

He comes up easily in conversation and we smile looking at his pictures. 

We paid for an Easter lily in his memory and I wear his name on a necklace close to my heart.

I tried to let Eli wear some of his clothes. . . I thought maybe it would seem normal and almost cool.  It wasn't.  All I could see was Gabe and his dimples, and I don't want to be superimposing one son upon the other.

We sketched out the words to his gravestone this week.

It will be beautiful and succinct and perfect and terribly wrong.

I'm glad we've waited.

I hated his unmarked grave and yet hated the stone that would make his death so final.

But it's time now.

This week Jacob drew this picture in one of his schoolbooks:
I sucked in my breath when I saw it and snuck a look at his face.


(Probably feeling happy with the muscle tone he gave to his own arms.)

But this was monumental to me because this is the first time he hasn't included Gabe.

So does it take two years for a child to heal and move on?

It's good and it's not good and I've tried to rationalize that this was not his best artwork so maybe he was just being lazy and not wanting to draw one more stick figure.

I didn't say anything.

I decided long ago not to force the children to grieve or heal on anyone's schedule but their own and the reality of our family being what JD's stick summary shows is. . . well . . . reality.

So in light of writing our son's beautiful name in stone and the family of five on the schoolwork sketch, this was a special gift:

{Gabe's tree. . .}

love you, my little man
miss you
like you can't imagine
feel the hole
feel the burn
feel the ache

know that you are happy
you don't care that you didn't grow up
(but I do)

still catch my breath
still touch your hair
still see your little self
still wish that you were here

we're going to put this big rock up
where we laid you down
and we will try to summarize your little life
in a few short lines.

I need a lot more space than that.

your life brought me so much joy, my son. .  .

you still bring so much joy.

when I hear this

I know that even though
(in a way)
your star burned down


and honor

and glory

forever to our God.

So while we choose what to write in stone

we are so thankful that your days were written in His book

and that our names are written on His hands

(and you, my baby, are written on my heart forever)

I love you, Gabriel James.

Love, Mommy


  1. What a precious post. I've never lost a child, but I lost my father at the age of 9, and the ache never goes away. Hugs to you as you face each step.