Why I Haven’t Been to My Mother’s Grave in the 17 Years Since She Died
It's weird how certain, seemingly random things can trigger memories that can send you for a loop. It's been 17 years since my mother died and just yesterday I thought I should call her to tell her about something I happened to read that she would be interested in and quickly realized she was not there to call and hasn't been for a long time.
My mom grew up in Bethel, Maine and when she lost her battle with cancer, we buried her at Riverside Cemetary with her parents. It was what she wanted and was where she felt she belonged. I haven't been back since. Well, that's not entirely true. I drove by the cemetery and started to walk in, but turned back when I came to a realization.
The truth of the matter is, my mother is not there. Her remains may be, but she's long gone and all that remains is a marker with her name and birth and death years. A simple stone that doesn't bring me any comfort or bring back any memories other than the day I watched her take her last breath.
I know this is heavy stuff, but I don't feel like I'm the only one that doesn't visit their loved ones that have passed at the cemetery.
What does bring me comfort after all these years? Photos. Visual memories of her that will never go away.
On my wedding day.
When her first grandson was born. Her second, my son, she never got to meet.
In the house we grew up in.
When she worked as a nurse at Stephens Memorial Hospital.
And the Glamour Shots photo session she had done at the Auburn Mall because she wanted to look pretty again.
These are the memories that I keep close to me. These are the things that remind me of her every day. That stone on the ground 45 minutes away is only there because it has to be. She's not there.
Through the memories though, she's still in my heart until the day I die. I miss you Mom.