A few weeks ago I had the sudden urge to go and see my daughter. She is buried right here in Casper but I don’t go as often as I would like. Her graveside gives me a place to visit, but I know that she doesn’t dwell there.
When I pulled up that Saturday afternoon I noticed a freshly dug grave just to the left of Olivia’s. Immediately my eyes welled with tears. I walked closer and saw that the grave was fresh and belonged to a little boy. I don’t know any details since the grave isn’t marked yet, but I do know that he was loved and very missed.
Seeing this fresh grave broke my heart all over again. It brought me back to that awful day in October 2013 when we said goodbye and walked away from her casket. We laid some flowers over the top of the mound of dirt that covered her and had to drive away. We went home without our daughter, our sister, a love of our life.
Burying your child is gut-wrenching. It ruins every best plan you have when you have children. You expect to get to watch them grow up. See them graduate, get married, have kids of their own. We were robbed of that. And now this other family was robbed of that experience too.
Was he a newborn? A toddler? An older child? I don’t know. But what I do know is that no matter the age, the loss of a child leaves you with a hole that is never completely filled. You bury them along with the hopes and dreams you had for their life. You also bury some of your joy and a huge piece of your heart.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.