We used to nickname her pumpkin when she was younger

Monday, March 26, 2012

Written in Stone

A beautiful tribute to my beautiful daughter with an amazingly fitting Radiohead quote.
It has been 8 months, yesterday, since Alysia passed away.  Pretty much on the 8th month mark her headstone finally arrived.  Happy early birthday present to me...  Tom Sr had seen it first and he emailed me pictures so I was somewhat prepared when Katie and I went on Saturday after work.  No matter how prepared I thought I was, it was still so sad and so hard to see.

I remember when I received the sketches for her stone from Oakridge Memory Gardens, seeing her date of birth on a headstone seemed harder than her date of death.  I never really quite understood why I reacted so hard to that.  Maybe it had to do with the fact that giving birth to her was such a happy time in my life, it was an identity I was proud to be...mother.  I was a mother.  Now that identity has been taken away.  People tell me I am still a mother but it's hard for me to completely identify with this anymore. I know I was a mother, but am I still now?

I was at a union workshop for 2 days and at the table during a lunch break a lot of the women were talking about their teenaged children and I sat there dreading the possibility they ask me if I had children. What do I say? Yes but she passed away 7 months ago? Or do I say "No" and just end the conversation?  I had an anxiety attack at lunch because of this silly scenario. I still do not know how to reconcile these confusing thoughts.

If you look on the stone, you will see a quote from Radiohead.  Alysia was a die-hard Radiohead fan and Lotus Flower was one of her favorite songs.  Although I knew she loved Radiohead I didn't know this was her favorite line from the song.  I was just guided to this when trying to choose what to put on her headstone . I believe she had a hand in this. Katie and I brainstormed a tattoo for me to do based around this quote so I could permanently honor Alysia's memory and have her close to me physically at all times.

There was something comforting about touching her stone. As if by touching her stone, I was touching her spirit. By talking to her name on the stone she could hear me in heaven more clearly. When I left, I kissed the top of the headstone and it felt like I was kissing the top of her head.  I understand now why headstones, grave markers of some sort, are so important to those left behind.

Resting peacefully by her nanny.

Headstones not only help the people left behind but will tell a story to the future generations.  As a person walks through this 50 years from now, they will be able to piece together the history of this little family...As Tomi will be buried next to Alysia and I will be buried across.  On my headstone I want written "Loving mother of Alysia D Abriel" so that I die with the identity of being a mother still.

I miss you Alysia xoxo

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