I Placed A Stone










I placed a stone on my brother’s grave today
One year ago, I said my heart-wrenching last goodbye
And now, here I am,
alone in the cemetery
on this cold, dark, rainy November morning
To pause, remember and simply be
With the powerful waves of grief
That still surprise and topple me

I placed a stone on my brother’s grave
As an offering to let others know
I was here
I remember
I care
I love
And, I won’t ever forget

When I picked up the stone and held it in my hand
It made an impression
Reminding me that I am continually moved by my brother
By his gusto, his compassion, his laughter, his faith, his voice, the sparkle in his eyes, his abundant love for others, his joy, and his purpose
When I put the stone down
on Jeremy’s grave
I knew that although he is not physically with me
The handprint of his life is on my heart
That, as a stone lasts throughout time, so does my love for him

I placed a stone on my brother’s grave today
And as I gather myself to leave
Wiping tears
Taking a deep breath
I suppose that often, in life,
it’s the smallest things
the placing of even the tiniest “pebbles”
(an empathetic look, a hug that doesn’t let go first, those unrushed moments shared over cups of coffee, a listening ear, a thoughtful text or phone call…)
that become profound markers
to also communicate
I’ve been there
You’re not alone
I remember
I care
You’re loved
I won’t forget

So I placed a stone on my brother’s grave today
As I leave, I pick up another
And put it in my pocket
To share with someone else

–Melissa Timberlake


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