The news headlines blare death daily. They're impossible to ignore. Hearts are weighed down with grief. I wish it weren't so, but this is reality on planet earth. When a loved one is gone and all that remains are memories, the bereaved are left to wonder. We wonder at the meaning of life. We wonder how we can make our loved one's life significant, especially if that life was short. We wonder at how to comfort ourselves when the pain of their absence daily confronts us. We wonder how we can keep a sense of their presence somehow with us as year after year passes. We search for something to fill the emptiness of our aching heart.
I am a part of "The Club No One Wants To Be A Part Of," and I've learned much. I've learned some great things and some not-so-great things. I've seen some amazing and beautiful spreads at the table of shared grief. There have been many sweet displays of comfort food, too, at the table of grief. It is a potluck of choices. Any dish that brings comfort is heaped generously onto our plate. One such helping is memorial stones.
I discovered Engravable Images back in December. I ordered ten stones so that Matt's sisters and brothers could each have one, as well as grandparents and close family friends. The stones are beautiful. Any time I see Matt's name in print, it is heartwarming. (It's also one of the reasons I got Matt's signature tattooed on my hand.) Remembrance stones are a tangible way to bring comfort to the heartache of child loss.
While my son is not physically here with me, these stones represent his continued presence in our lives. Ways in which we, as bereaved parents, can incorporate our children into our lives are precious and help us to continue moving forward and help us to hold on to hope. More and more, I find myself looking for ways to remember my son's life. We have an engraved granite bench that sits in our "memorial garden" (which is really "Matt's Mound"). I have many cardinal decorations, as well, both inside the house and out. I also have a necklace engraved with Matt's name and the scripture verse reference of Revelation 21:4. I continually look for new ideas and share them with the hope of offering comfort to other bereaved parents, as well as give ideas to the non-bereaved who may have a friend or family member they would like to help.
Another helping of comfort food is the Facebook page Treasurestones. Marcie does an amazing job. I've wanted one of these stones with Matt's name for a while, but I have yet to order one. I've seen them firsthand, however, and they are beautiful. The picture below is the stone my grief mom friend has for her son Dustin.
These memorial ideas are ways in which I draw comfort in this grief journey. Yes, I carry a rock. I no longer have the privilege of seeing my son's face or hearing his voice, but I see his name and smile.