Standing at the graveside of anyone you care about is typically very emotional. As a father, to stand at the grave of your child is devastating. What has surprised me is this part of losing Ella has never gotten easier. It has gotten a little easier to go in her room. It has become more bearable to watch a favorite movie of hers and look at pictures. But the graveside has nothing to offer but heartache. It’s a constant reminder of what we’ve lost.
Sometimes we come out here to bring seasonal wreaths or a new stuffed animal we’ve gotten her. In those moments, we try to stay strong for each other. But, when I’m here alone, it’s a time for just me and Ella. Songs we used to sing at bedtime flood my mind with memories so vivid I can’t help but sing. Some of them we made up. Others are well-known lullabies. No matter the song, I sing. No matter the hurt, I sing. I can almost see her face as we sing together and kiss goodnight.
As hard as it is, I will continue to visit her grave. Not that she’s there, but, I need to feel the loss. It’s not until I am reminded how much I’ve lost that I recall how great I am blessed. It also reminds me to sing. Even when my heart is broken, I sing. Even when I feel like my song has been stolen, I sing. Because Ella sang, I sing. And though my voice my waver and crack with emotion, I will sing even louder the praises of my God who continues to sing over me.