We have visited Vincent's gravesite several times since the burial, but somehow seeing the marker placed there with Vincent's name and the words "Victorious in Jesus' Arms" made the experience feel more real, but just barely. I couldn't help noticing how bare the grave looks, even with the flowers tucked into the vase. The marker was muddied by all the rain, and instead of grass, ungainly weeds are growing all around his grave. It's not what I expected. The cemetery itself is breathtakingly beautiful, nestled beneath the Ko'olau mountains, looking down at the beach in the distance. But the gravesite itself is unkempt, bare, stark. I almost like it better before the marker was installed, before I have to see Vincent's name carved into the brass, brutally reminding me that he's dead. Really and truly dead.
While he was alive, Vincent lived a mostly cozy and happy life, always warm, snuggling right next to me, surrounded by quilts, toys, animals, and books. He loved his brother. He loved to giggle with Daddy. He even slept right next to Dan and I at night. While he was alive, I wouldn't have ever let him play on this hill here in the cemetery - I would have thought it too steep, too windy, and containing too many tripping hazards for toddling little boys. And yet, this is where he is now, lying just beneath my feet. I hate this, how different it all is now. I hate that all I have left of him is this grave, this cold, muddy, horrible, horrible grave.
It's really dreadful for me to actually think of him buried beneath the marker, wrapped in his favorite monkey blankie. How the hell am I supposed to function now? Sure, his little spirit is currently happily playing in heaven, but I'm not there right now, obviously. How will I be able to live the rest of my life without him? I don't even want that question answered.
Over the course of Vincent's 18 month life, I changed diapers, bathed him, gave him medication, nursed him, fed him, held him, cuddled him, and in general, got very attached to his body. That's all I had of him. And now, that's all that is left of him here with us. I hate that.
I hate this whole freaking thing.