So after the move I began a new route to work. The shortest way to get there is the back roads through the suburb connecting to the city I work in. It is a windy and beautiful road. It is a road that Matt and I used to live just blocks off of for a big chunk of our relationship. It is a road we biked on, took Evelyn to parks on, and it also happens to be the same road his cemetery now lies on.
The first few times I drove past it I would slow way down, stare into the field, and feel a tug to stop. Often, I was too busy. Late to work, late to pick up the kids, or late to whatever I was suppose to be doing (prior to Matt's death I can't remember a time I was ever late). It was a couple weeks ago that I had sort of planned it out to make time to stop. This wasn't the first time I had been to his grave, it wasn't even the first time I had been alone. It was just like any other visit really, but it wasn't somehow.
On this visit a couple weeks ago, which coincided with this sinking depression that has overtaken me recently, I decided to sit down and talk to Matt. I had an old quilt I'd made in the back of his SUV, the one that I now drive. I laid it out next to his unmarked grave. His plot is next to a baby girl, if I'm right a three year old; her marker engraved with a teddy bear is simply heartbreaking. He is laid next to a crooked old tree of some sort, if I had to guess I would say an apple tree, but I'd probably be wrong. And it sits only about 20 feet from a house of someone whose yard backs up to this particular cemetery.
On this day I laid out a blanket, took off my shoes, and plopped down. I started and ended my time with Matt in prayer - asking the Spirit to be ever present in my words, to cover me completely. And then . . . I let it all out. I told Matt about how I was troubled. About how my anxiety has resurfaced in full force. About how I struggle with finding the correct balance between discipline and love in the midst of tragedy. I told him how hard taking care of a home by myself is, and how much it hurts that I can't keep a house the way I could when he was around to help. I told him about all the things I break, and the things I don't take care of the way he would want me to. I told him about how much Isaac is growing, and about what a little story teller Evie has become. I told him about his mother's new home, and how his littlest brother is now 16. I told him about our new pastor and his family, how much he would have loved them, and the excitement surrounding their move. I told him how overwhelmed I felt at times. How I feel I can't keep up with daily tasks, let alone commitments I've made. I told him how there are things I'm longing to do, feeling called to do, and yet the lies that 'I'm not good enough' continue to sneak in. I told him everything.
And you know what? There was no response. No revelation in that moment, or reassurance from beyond the grave. And truly I see that as fitting, since before Matt died I would have never gotten him to listen to me that long. He wasn't capable [or more likely didn't give much effort] into listening to my heart very often. It was something he was becoming more aware of, and would have probably grown better at with time, but still something that pained me. There was no response on that day, but when I rose up and left, there was relief. Relief of being honest, of just breathing into existence all the things weighing on my heart.
Since that day I've made it to his resting place a lot. My quilt, and his dirt. With just my thoughts, tears, and bare feet. And although a cemetery seems an unfitting place for a 31 year old to find comfort, it also seems unfitting to be the home of a 33 year old husband and father.