**Trigger warning for those who have suffered miscarriage or the loss of a baby**
Yesterday, after my workshop finished, I made my way to several locations in Meridian to take some photos. I figured that while I was there, I might as well take advantage of the opportunity to get some pictures of those things that are unique to the place – like the Dentzel carousel and the Gypsy Queen’s grave. Despite what the city’s website said, the carousel wasn’t actually open, so I was thwarted there. But! The cemetery is always open.
I took quite a few pictures of the Queen’s grave, and I’ll be bringing those to you next week. However, I have a bit of a fascination with cemeteries. There is something peaceful and calming about them. It’s not morbid or ghoulish to me. I look at them as a place of great beauty and contemplation, and when they are very old – as many of the cemeteries around here or in New Orleans are – there is an added layer to the fascination. Who were these people? What kinds of lives did they lead? What were their stories? So when I finished with His and Her Majesty, I turned to look around and saw in the distance these gorgeous confederate rose blooms.
I wandered closer, carefully picking my way around grave sites (I have a thing about walking on the dead…even though many of those particular folks have been gone for more decades than even my grandparents have been alive…if they were still alive) and the ant beds). I kept snapping pictures, trying to get things just right and out of the corner of my eye, saw a plaque, almost buried in foliage and sunken a bit into the ground.
And I stopped.
The gorgeous confederate rose marked a memorial garden for babies – those who never quite got the chance to draw a breath on this earth and those who were here for too short a time.
We don’t have children. I’ve detailed our struggles with infertility, but close friends have suffered through miscarriage and in a life far away and long ago, an almost family member lost a baby 6 weeks before the due date.
I cannot imagine the pain and the heartbreak. It never seems right that we should lose such precious little angels so very soon. I did not – and still do not – know quite what to do with myself in that moment. There was no one near to offer condolences to, no one to offer compassion. I closed my eyes and asked for peace and comfort upon those who suffer and those who ache for what should have been but cannot be – a bud that never had the chance to bloom, one that withered before its time.