Friday, June 11, 2010

Memorial Day

I have been thinking about posting this thought since...well ugh...Memorial Day.

I have a strong opinion about Memorial day. I think it is the perfect day to remember and recognize our soldiers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, as well as recognize those that have survived and are serving. I do not, however feel that we should feel obligated to grieve publicly for our own losses on that day.

Mothers who have lost children grieve for their lost children the other 364 days of the year, and should not feel obligated to go to the grave, etc., that day.

I have a good friend who lost her son 18 years ago. She has since moved away from where he is buried. She was feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt for not being able to visit him or decorate his grave on Memorial Day. But he is not there. He is with her, where ever she is. Her son loves her and knows that she loves him. I am sure he does not care if she is able to drive the several hours it would take for her to put flowers on his grave. We all put flowers and decorations on our childrens' graves everyday in our broken hearts.

On the flip side, I did not plan to go to Andrew's grave on Memorial Day this year. However, I was in the area of the cemetary, and had about an hour until I was supposed to meet my husband and son at the movie theater. I did not want to waste the gas to drive home and back, so I decided to visit Andrew's grave. When I got there, the cemetary must have conducted a cemetary clean up and his grave was void of any decorations. I do feel a sense of guilt, or dissapointmet, when his grave isn't decorated. I know Andrew doesn't care, but in a way, I don't want him to think I have forgotten him or put him on the back burner. And yet, I know he hears my every thought, and knows the grief in my heart.

Andrew knows I think of him all 365 days of the year, all 24 hours of every day, all 60 minutes of every hour, and all 60 seconds of every minute.

And if I don't decorate his grave on Memorial Day, because someone says that is what I am supposed to do, I should not feel guilty, and I do not love my son any less.

I don't usually rant, and I hope this doesn't sound like such.

So mothers, grieve when you want to greive, and how you wnt to grieve. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


  1. My son is buried on top of my husbands brother Kenny. They kept calling and asking what time we needed to all meet at the cemetery on Memorial Day. I was so confused...I thought it was for the Vets and other people in service. So I went and hung out. I brought red, white and blue flowers and a flag. His family looked at me like I was weird. I was like sorry new to this whole Cemetery thing...I turned the tables on them and asked why we came on Memorial Day in the first place?? I thought it was odd. I agree with you 100%! I think I am a weird Mother because I dread going to cemetery. I have horrible thoughts and it makes me physically ill thinking that his body is in the ground. I do much better knowing he is with me and one day I will be happy at the Cemetery when he is given back to us. Until then I do not go that often...! Thanks for posting this...cuz I was feeling guilty for not understanding the whole Memorial Day thing...

  2. I didn't know I was the only mother who felt guilty for living hours away and not being able to be there for Memorial Day - Glad to know I am not the only one who feels it - even though as you said I shouldn't. I however, love going to the cemetery -- I feel a sense of peace there and sometimes I feel its the only place I can go and really be myself. But we all grieve and handle grief differently - the most important thing we can do is support and love each other through it all.

  3. I don't go to my son's grave on Memorial Day. I should however go to my uncle's grave that is just a few feet away from my son's. But I don't do that either. And I don't feel guilty about it, either. Last year was my first Memorial Day without my son and when I read that other bereaved mothers visited their children for the holiday, it surprised me. I understand it. But I also choose not to do it. I go on other days.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. You are an amazingly strong woman,I commend you for your strength and helping other Mom's work through their pain and your courage in sharing your own loss.Thanks for stopping by and following!I am following back!Happy Mothering!

  5. Hello!
    I am visiting from The Chatty Mommy. I saw you visited from the social parade.
    I have already been following you.
    Just wanted to say sorry for your loss and you have a beautiful family both those here on earth and your son in heaven.
    Have a wonderful father's day with your husband!

  6. I agree whole heartedly with everything you said. I go to the cemetary occasionally to check on my daughter's site, clean up anything old and sun faded, and make sure all is tidy around her space but don't feel the need to spend Memorial Day there. We went on her birthday this year to meet with other family members and friends since we were having a "release a smile" birthday party for her. We did a balloon release with stories of her attached so hopefully others who found our balloons could smile and laugh about her stories the same as we do. The cemetary is a resting place for her body but not her spirit. Her spirit is continually on the move helping us to get through each and every day without her here.