Triggers happen frequently. Some are intense, some are subtle, some are manageable, others are not. Sometime when I get an intense trigger and traumatic memories and thoughts start flooding my brain I get an urge, a yearning to go to the grave site and dig the dirt. Dig the dirt with my hands, see the dirt under my fingernails until I reach the white box and hold my babies again. I feel like it is a primal, motherly instinct that takes me to this place. I made it to the cemetery one time. I sat there on the ground bawled and cried out in agony. I didn’t start digging because deep down I know what remains in the white box is not want I want to see. It won’t satisfy the yearning. It would probably add more traumatizing images to my brain. I called my Dad for help that night and Lord did I need it. I didn’t call my husband because he was at home with our – at the time – grieving 6-year-old. Like a good Dad he drove right to me and sat on the cold ground and cried right beside me. I thankfully haven’t made it that far again but the urge still happens.
Speaking of cemeteries and grave sites- here’s my expectation when I go to the grave site. A beam of sunlight suddenly and magically appears from the clouds and shines down on the headstone. There is a light breeze and doves are gently circling above me. I get an overwhelming sense of peace in my heart knowing Nathan and Liam are always with me in spirit. I walk away feeling like I had a heavenly conversation with my boys. Here’s what really happens- I.feel.nothing. I go there and decorate for the season, say a short prayer and then drive away. I have felt my boys speak to me in many different ways just never at the cemetery. I used to feel guilty for this- like I wasn’t praying genuinely enough when I was there or didn’t visit often enough. I now know that is a crock of crap. My boys are so proud I am their Mama. They tell me in their own ways – perfectly designed for me.
– Leslie Johnson