Today has held feelings for which there are not names. Not in this language anyway. I am grateful for this space which still serves me so well. Here I can try to put words together to honor the moments, and sit in their reflection.
After the morning coffee, we separated, men and women, to do hard work in preparation for tomorrow. Michael, Banyan, Sky and Lotus returned to the owl-blessed earth between the oaks, and dug a mighty hole. They took turns with blades against roots and dirt. Michael feels at home with a shovel in his hand. He has since he was a boy. I know how much this meant to him, this act of physical labor, of teaching, of silent brotherhood, of devoted fatherhood, intimately knowing the shape and the contour of Benjamin’s final place of rest. I am grateful Banyan was alongside him, feeling the work in his hands.
Sarah and I had other work to do. On the way to the funeral home, we went to Andy’s gorgeous church, his playground, he said lovingly. He helped me finalize the flow for Benjamin’s parting blessing tomorrow. He is so patient. So kind. His guidance right now is a gift beyond measure.
The ride to the funeral home was a long one, down lovely country roads lined with stables. Bald eagle and osprey led the way. I held the quilt in my lap, the one I made for Benjamin when I was hugely pregnant, the first quilt he was swaddled in, and now, the last. I tried to infuse as much love as I could into its tattered corners.
The walk into the funeral home was thick and heavy. Benjamin’s body was there, of course, and a large part of me wanted to find him and take him with me. Instead, I found warmth in the eyes of the funeral director’s daughter. She told me she had been the one to gather Benjamin’s autopsied body from the hospital. She was so complimentary of the respect with which Benjamin was treated there. She made sure everything was in order, she carried him here safely, she midwifed his body, in a way. It felt safe to hand her the quilt. Still, the moment it left my hands was so hard. It was a very strange sort of goodbye; not to the spirit that left his body, and not to the body we will bury tomorrow. This was a goodbye to the hope held in those stitches. To the feeling held in that pregnant belly. To the need to wrap him up, to nourish him, to rock him close. Handing that quilt over was the last physical act I will ever do for Benjamin’s body. There is no name for that feeling.
Our close family is beginning to arrive. I was able to show Kathy and Gana the owl-blessed place as the sun sank down below the treetops. The trails are raked and lined with branches. The hole is covered and ready. The men did fine, fine work.
I am so grateful for the ability for our family to put our hands into the process of Benjamin’s burial. I am also grateful that the folks who have helped us have been such kind and loving people. The layers of this evolving goodbye have been so hard, so unexpected, so beautiful. Benjamin’s soft sparkle is everywhere. It’s in the trees, in the stitches, in each deep breath. In our hands.
32 thoughts on “In Our Hands.”
Oh, my sweet friend, my heart is with you ❤
Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family!
Such a hard day, and so well-lived by all of you on Benji\\\’s behalf. A thousand sister mothers\\\’ hearts are with you as you carry the weight of the loss.
Such a hard day, and so well-lived by all of you on Benji\’s behalf. A thousand sister mothers\’ hearts are with you as you carry the weight of the loss.
My thought will be with you tomorrow as they are everyday. Thank you for continuing to share this with us. ❤️
My heartfelt prayers are with you as you lay this incredible human being to rest.
You all are doing such sacred work. I am so thankful that you are all able to weave such beauty and honor him this way. We are a circle within a circle with no beginning and never ending. You are all being held so high.
I\’m so proud of you for continuing to post your heartfelt, gut- wrenching feelings. I pray it soothes the pain.
There are no words to express the ache in my heart for your family. My deepest thoughts to you all in this time.
Oh mama. That quilt…. What love.
We continue to pray and send our love to you and your family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you today.
We mothers hold our hands and hearts in prayer in respect and honor of Benjamin and your journey with your beautiful son.
❤ Thinking about you and your family today as always.❤
So beautiful Laura. ❤
Your words and your consciousness astound me and inspire me to be a better person and bring tears to my eyes with their beauty and sadness.
As a quilter myself I know the love and care we put in every stitch, specially if the quilt goes to someone we love dearly and deeply. Benj must be so proud of you and so thankful for the time he had with his family here on this earth. He knows he is loved with infinite love,. May your family receive all my warm thoughts and prayers.
This is so beautiful.
Holding space for you and your family, in love and light.
Your strength is amazing your journals are very inspiring. My heart is with you and your family today and always.
Thinking about you all today. May you have a special time remembering your boy and laying his body to rest.
Such strength love bravery. We love you Benji we love you Laura and Gilkey family.
I continue to be honored to witness your strength and deep love …
love and light to you and yours ….
Benji clearly shines down on all of you …
Oh Laura… how I love you sweet mama! Continuing to hold you all close in my thoughts and prayers! ❤
I’m so very sorry dear neighbor such a loss you are a great family rest dear Benn. In peace,
Thinking of you and your boy.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Holding you up in love and thoughts. Love to you guys
Blessings. May we all be loved by someone like you and may we all love like you.
Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
so sacred; what a beautiful resting space.