June 22, 2011
This morning we went to the cemetery. It was the first time I had been since I was here last, 10 years ago. And it was one of those “too much” times in life. One of those times when there is too much intensity packed into the moment for one heart to handle.
We visited three graves there. One was that of my cousin, whom we buried when she was barely 4 years old. As I stood there with Oma, I remembered the last time I was there, losing my composure and sobbing through the graveside service. But today I stood dry-eyed and quiet.
Then we continued on to my aunt’s grave. This was one I had not yet seen. And as I looked at the flowers my cousin had placed there just days earlier, I thought, Why was I not here? Why didn’t I come to the funeral? Why could I not have ignored practicalities of time and expense then, and just come anyways? I should have been here . . .
Then I started to cry. As Oma turned to walk towards the next site, I turned my head to hide my face from her. We were both quiet as I followed her. I asked what she was looking for now, and then immediately kicked myself for so ignorantly forgetting that Opa’s grave was there as well.
She found it and knelt down, with some discomfort. I almost chided her when I realized what she was doing but thought better of it. Instead, I knelt and started pulling dandelions from around the stone with her. We uprooted the weeds and the stray grasses until the heat started to get to Oma and she eased herself back up. “That’s where I will be too,” she commented. “They will lay me on top of Opa there.”
That was when I realized it was too much. Too much reality, too much emotion, for my feeble self. I wondered if I was just stilted in my human capacities and should be able to just slide through days like this without a pause.
But I think that I am at least in a bit of good company at the moment–maybe not the only one needing to recover myself after such times. For I noticed that Oma had to do some more weeding, some more literal [and figurative, I suspect] uprooting. Such is life, eh?