We visit Emma everyday. Although it is just her body, where she is buried provides a place to really feel like you can talk to her. I will admit I talk to her almost all day long both in what I am thinking and sometimes even out loud if no one is around as to not make myself look crazy. For the first few weeks I didn’t do this because 1. I was in shock. 2. It seemed weird. Now, it really makes a difference in how I feel.
I also think a lot when I am there about our “neighbors” who are buried close by. I read their names each day and wonder who they were and even how they passed. I have Googled a few, reading their obituaries and getting an idea of what they were like. There are a few ladies quite young in their 40’s and early 50’s and even 2 babies. I wonder if they have family who visit and how often. Occasionally I see new flowers and balloons for birthday’s and so I know that other people have come by. Then I wonder if as time goes by we will visit less and less. I try to not think about it, because I suppose maybe we will and it seems terrible to think about, as if we have forgotten or stop taking the time to swing by. Maybe their families have moved away, and they can’t visit as much as they want to. I wish I knew, because I would be happy to bring new flowers if they needed.
Emma has a beautiful monument to the left of where she is buried. It is a gorgeous castle and matching bench. I laughed thinking we have to keep up with the “Jones'” next door and get something just as cool and beautiful for Emma’s. You can’t be “those” neighbors who have the Walmart monument next to the Nordstroms one. 🙂
Some of you might have spots already picked out to be buried at, or maybe you have a family section somewhere. We didn’t and had no idea what to do. We knew we wanted her close to us and so we were stuck in a more expensive cemetery in the city, where we could have saved a lot of money by going farther out more into the country and smaller town. But what do you do? We didn’t know what to do. You want to keep costs in control, but on the other hand you are talking about your daughter. It seems so cruel to have to be deciding where she is buried based on cost. We decided to have her closer to us.
In order to have a “monument” which is really a fancy way to say headstone, you have to purchase 3 plots. They don’t put monuments on single plots. I originally was thinking, 1 plot and 1 headstone and about $10,000. Then you realize that you don’t want your child to be alone and all of a sudden you are making a decision where you and your husband will be buried. We knew then that we needed 3 spots, and because we wanted a monument we had to buy 3 anyway. Since almost everything in this cemetery that was developed was sold out and it was hard to find a spot by some trees with 3 spaces. When we found her spot, and there were 4 spaces, well, it just seemed like the right thing to do was get the 4. Should something ever happen to someone else in our family, because after loosing Emma you realize that this can actually happen, you would want them by you.
Before a person can be buried their spot has to be paid for. Each plot was $8200. We paid for Emma’s and financed the other $24,600 for 2 years. I have since realized that in order to get a monument up you have to have the other spots paid off, and I can’t stand the thought of going out there for years before something is there with her name on it, so I plan on paying that off as quickly as I possibly can. Also, a monument to cover the 3 spaces for Paul, Emma and I starts at about $8,000 for a basic “Walmart” one and goes up to as much as $60,000 like our neighbors, I need to start coming up with the money for that as well. Oh, and the foot marker, that was $3800 but at least it will have her name on it until we get the monument up.
These are things I had never thought about until these past few weeks. You are almost planning 3 funerals and not just 1. You try and decide what is for Emma and what is for you to remember her by. How do you put a price on that? You don’t want to go in debt for something ridiculously fancy but then you think you might not be honoring your child. Quite honestly they could not make a monument beautiful or big enough to honor Emma, so I can be more realistic with what are doing.
Since we have the 4th plot, we can put a bench on it. Yes, you have to buy a plot to place a bench. We often “borrow” our neighbors bench to sit on and talk to each other or the kids, I am not sure how they feel about that so we want to have our own, to be good neighbors I guess. It is an additional cost as well, but something we realized we really wanted.
It isn’t always a sad thing to go see her. It is hard to leave. But it is also wonderful to see things that other people have left and to know people are thinking about her. Softballs with messages on them, toys, a beautiful Mum, candles, flowers, and even some cute gnomes. We know that won’t last forever and so we are so grateful that it happens now. Since we most likely will be here in this area for a long time, we want to show the kids it is ok to just come out here and sit for a while to think, pray or read, anything they want to do and have a quiet spot to just be by themselves. Our oldest who drives, stops by often after school to just sit for a few minutes. We go on Sunday’s as a family after church and just talk to each other.
This little boy. Every time we take him, he just sits. He just sits in the same spot every time. Quietly. Sometimes he cries and sometimes he doesn’t. He just sits quietly. They had a very special bond. Emma made no bones about the fact he was her favorite. She took him everywhere. They ride bikes to the mall, to the store, to their aunts, to the candy store, almost everyday. They were best friends. Rush came into my room yesterday starting to cry and told me how sad he was he only got to know Emma for 7 years. He is a wise 7 year old. We miss her terribly. I ache for this little boy.