Yesterday, I went to visit my husband’s gravesite. It had been a while since I had gone and I was in the area so I decided to stop. We had buried Bob in our hometown which is 40 some minutes from where we presently live. I spent my time there as I normally do when I go. Cleared up some brush, talked a bit and looked at the new headstone for Bob’s mom who passed last year. When I was done, I headed to the van and got in.
I noticed a large white truck enter the cemetery and a gentleman of about 80 got out of the truck and walked over to a new gravesite. He saw me sitting in the car and waved. When I waved back…he took it as a sign and headed my direction.
“I’m here to see my wife”, he said, “who are you here for?”
“I’m here to see my husband, “ I replied.
He looked surprised but then asked…”How long has he been gone?”
“Almost ten years,” I said.
“My little miss has only been gone since December.” was his reply.
Even though he was much more my senior, I could tell that I was the more experienced one here. His grief journey was just beginning. We walked back to my husband’s grave and I explained all the markings on the headstone and the meanings to me and the kids who helped me in determining what would go on the headstone. There was the deer for his hunting, the fish for his fishing, the loon because Bob said we all were a little looney, the cross with the praying hands for our believe in Christ and on the back there was the passage from our wedding (Joshua 24:15) along with an engraving of a central piece from our wedding. At the bottom is inscribed the words FOR ETERNAL LIFE. This is how Bob told the kids he would love them. He would love them beyond this life. We also talked about the two headstones next to Bob for his mom and dad who passed after he did. Then, we talked about his plans for his wife’s headstone. In any other environment, we could have been in any store talking about the features of a new purchase. Here, we were two widows sharing our stories.
He talked about how he and his wife had met on a blind date…he a White Sox fan and she a die hard Cubs fan. He was happy that she had seen the Cubs win a World Series before she left this world and admitted that she had turned him into a Cubs fan as well. We talked about flowers and solar lighting at the cemetery and chatted like two old friends.
He told me how he visited everyday and I felt our visit coming to an end for now. I wished him well and left him to his visit with his wife. As I got back into the van, I watched him walk back to his wife’s gravesite and thought about how far my journey has taken me since I was at his point of grief.
Hopefully, I was of some help. I know he was to me. Meeting him allowed me to revisit the time that I first visited Bob’s gravesite and how far I have come. I still miss him dearly; however, I am now able to move forward and I have love again in my life. Never in a million years did I think I would be here back then.
I pray that this gentleman will find his happiness and peace as well.