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The Bench – Approaching 50 and Fabulous
Bereavement Family Little Moments Midlife Moms Parenting

The Bench

May 31, 2016

Each solo visit to the cemetery now brings on gut-wrenching, heart breaking sobs.  Full-on snotty tissues and all.  If I don’t have a tissue handy I have admittedly use my sleeve.  Gross, yes, but it’s what happens when I cry.  How else can I breathe?   

I cannot wear any makeup when I go to the cemetery by myself. I manage to keep it together when my sons are around, but if I am alone, I am a trainwreck.  

Yesterday I got into my car after a visit and pulled down the visor to look in the mirror, my eyes were swollen, red and tiny slits remained. I grabbed a tissue from the glove compartment, blew my nose and took a sip of my macchiato. I had to calm down before I drove home. I was too distraught to drive.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a “use my sleeve” day.

Anthony has been gone almost 4 months, and my grief is worse than ever; however it’s a solo emotion.  I manage to keep it together for my sons.  

When I go to the cemetery alone, I cannot do my hair. I pull on my hair. I run my hands through it hard and pull on the hair at the back of my neck until it hurts. I want it to hurt. Don’t ask why, I just do. 

When we bought Anthony’s plot, one of the attractive features was there was a bench, kindly donated by a neighboring family in front of his gravesite.   It looks exactly like the one pictured here.  Teak wood probably.  Smooth and comfortable. There is a plaque commemorating the memory of the donors loved one. 

Yes, I considered the bench, and it’s positioning when I purchased my son’s plot.  I wanted his grandparents, friends and me to have a place to sit.  

That bench came in very handy at the funeral.  It was able to provide comfort to those who were tired or too distraught to stand.  

For me, it has become my resting place.  I am sorry to the family who donated it (and hopefully they never show up when I am there) but I lay on it often.  

I put my purse on one end, lay my head on it and stretch my legs off the armrests on the other end. I do not put my feet on the seat, I am not trying to damage it. I just want to lay there with my son like I used to when he was alive. My conversations with Anthony were often had on the two couches in our living room. Him on one, me on the other.  We lay down, talk about our day, laughed together and I would often end up yelling at him for some random stupidity he got himself into. All from a horizontal position.   What Mom doesn’t yell when laying down?  

24th Birthday

The bench at the cemetery has become my “couch.”  Again, only when I am alone.  

I usually smack his headstone when I get there, call him a Moron for leaving me, and, if I am not in presence of other mourners, I prepare the bench.  

I push it close enough to the mausoleum wall that I can touch his headstone when I talk to him.  I tell him about work, his brothers, our dog, the family. I show him new pictures of my nieces or play funny videos to him like I used to.   I like to trace my fingers around his picture or the letters of his name while I talk.  The fact that he doesn’t answer is what sets off the tears.   I roll over onto my side and stare at his smiling face. The bench is wood, so it’s not entirely comfortable, but I deal with what I have.  

I beg Anthony to come back, not to leave me alone for the rest of my life. Yes, I know it’s been 4 months, but God has provided other miracles.  

By the time I get up to leave, I am a little stiff, the benches slats have dug into my hips and my purse has left an impression line on my face.  That’s always fun to explain to Lou when I get home.  

“Where did that mark come from?” He asks.

“I was laying on the bench and had my purse under my cheek.”  

“Laying on the bench? It’s not there for laying on…you’re lucky you’re never there when the family that donated it is, their reaction to you splayed out on it would be a sight to see…”

He can be a bit of a pill, but Lou is right.  I would not be too happy with me either if I had donated the bench. 

For now, however, this is how I need to grieve, so I will take my chances on getting caught. 

That bench keeps me close to my Baby.  At the end of every visit, I readjust it to its starting position, slightly a foot to the right and 2 feet backwards.  I never leave without making sure it’s where I found it. 

I know, it’s a bit selfish on my part to use the bench as my own personal couch, but who said I had to be generous now?  


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  • Reply If There Was A Way to Reblog This, I would! | Michael's Origins June 1, 2016 at 12:06 am

    […] Title is called, “The Bench” it is honest filled with raw  painful […]

    • Reply Miranda Allen June 1, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your kindness.

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