a lifetime

The 1st birthday.  Usually a joyous milestone.  Unusually celebrated at a headstone.

On Gabriel’s birthday, October 19th, all the kids were at school so Brian and I had some time to be alone.  I made a floral arrangement to put on the boys’ headstone and then we headed out to the cemetery.  We were there for the entire span of Gabriel’s life: 12:05pm – 12:37pm.  We stood there at the foot of his grave with our arms around each other and cried… and cried and cried.

After that we walked the grounds because it was a beautiful day and it’s a beautiful cemetery.  We walked over to the baby section and realized how thankful we were for not going with that area.  It was so sad.  And the more names I read the angrier I got and the harder I cried.  Why are there so many there?  And how many more who were cremated?  (by choice or not)  And so many without names.  So many families devastated.  Relationships and marriages destroyed by grief.  And for what?  Will any of us know why?

It is still just surreal.  How life has changed.  How the world looks different.  How I am still standing here after putting 2 babies in the ground.  I don’t know how that is possible.  I mean, yes, God has held me up but I still don’t know how.  And how does anyone survive without Him?

A good friend asked me last week what it is I feel God calling me to do.  I couldn’t answer him with absolute certainty but I do feel like it will come from this loss.  These losses.  I want to continue searching this out.  I feel it may be coming sooner than I realize.  I’ll keep you posted.

We spent 32 minutes with Gabriel Elliott on that beautiful October day one year ago.  Those quiet bittersweet moments the three of us had together will be forever ingrained in my mind.  Whispers and breaths and tears and kisses and prayers shared with each other and with our son.  Nothing but pure, unconditional love for those 32 minutes.  It seems like such a short time.  I guess it is a short time.  But it was a wonderful time.  It was a lifetime.


  1. <3

  2. Thinking of you. Abding

  3. Thinking of you, Amanda, and hoping you are well.

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