Our son is getting a new neighbour. An acquaintance has lost a baby to a congenital disease and the plot next to our son's has been prepared for digging.
When my husband told me of this, most of my thoughts were completely selfish. For a moment, I felt that sickening thud of regret for the family that will not get to spend time with their baby. But, perhaps since I have never even heard of these people until yesterday, my next thought was of my husband, who will be in the circle of people who do know them. These people, who have barely mentioned our son (to my knowledge) and who were hardly supportive when he died (though I imagine it was because they didn't know what to do or say), will likely be more supportive of this woman because of her gender. But, actually, that may not be an issue, since she will receive her 3 months maternity leave and (if she is anything like me) will stay home and hide for the next 3 months.
Secondly, macabre as this is, I liked having the plot next to our son open. In case we need it. Also, because then I could sit next to his grave without sitting on someone else's kid.
Thirdly, I am a little excited that people who know us will be at the graveside service, and will get to see our son's headstone. They are very few things that I get to show off about our son. What a thrill to know that people we know will actually get to see something that is his.
Fourthly, I think that I am glad of the company. Not for me, but for our son. I talk to our son when we go to the cemetery, but I also talk to the little girl buried to the west of him, and the little boy buried to the north. They have become his friends. I guess, since I cannot arrange for playdates with his friends here in this life, I might imagine that these little grave markers that surround his grave marker are his friends. One more friend for our son.
The truth of it all, too, is that I am a little jealous of people who have been granted the joy of spending time with their children. Though it was only 3 weeks in this case, I have to admit to my jealousy. For those of you who did have a few moments to spend with your children, I know that you cherish those moments and I don't begrudge you that time. I would never want that taken away from a bereaved parent. I am simply just always a little sad that we didn't get to see his eyes gazing at us, see the rise and fall of his chest as he slept, hear his cry, etc. etc.
SO now that I have written it all out, I realize that I am sad for this family that I don't know. Nothing will heal this wound for them, and I know this better than most. I am sorry you couldn't stay, little baby.