(Written October 3, 1997 - This was just after I had found a counselor who started to help me with my grief. My actual grief journey continued on for many years)
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
II Corinthians 5:8
We placed one perfect pink rosebud on your grave today, your Dad and I. I know you aren't there so I guess the rosebud was more for us. It's a symbol of your newness, your perfection, your petal-soft skin, and your sweet little rosebud mouth. Twenty-three years ago these words described you. But because you were a rosebud who bloomed too soon we couldn't keep you. Your petals were scattered to the wind to be returned to the earth from whence they came. Driving back home tonight, I looked up at the thinly slivered new moon, veiled by Venus, and wondered where in that great expanse of the universe Heaven really is. I know you are there in God's everlasting shining presence, in a light so bright that we earthlings would be blinded by it. You are surrounded by angels and God. I miss you, but I now have a peace about your death, somewhat. With gratitude, Meredith, I let you go. Gratitude that you are in a perfect Presence, that you are not lonely and frightened and separated and in pain as when you were alive. Gratitude that you were once ours. We relinquished you to our Maker. You see, His garden was not complete, and He makes the decision as to what flowers He needs. He needed you, that little rosebud that bloomed too soon. We are all part of His wonderful plan.
When I went to buy flowers for your grave yesterday, I wanted pink roses. On that long ago day when we surrendered your body to the earth, I had wanted roses to envelop your grave. But the turn of events was such that we had to choose carnations instead. So, over two decades later I had never given you the roses I wanted for you. I went to the store to get a bouquet of pink roses but the ones available were not perfect, and I wanted perfection for you. At the next stop I made, the florist had no pink roses, only red ones. As I thanked her and turned to leave, she called me back. She remembered she did have a pink rose, one pink rose in a vase, so she reached to the back of the cooler and produced it - one perfect pink rosebud, just like you. It was just what I had wanted and I didn't even realize it until I looked upon its graceful perfection.
So, baby Meredith, on your birthday we gave you one perfect rosebud, and in giving that to you, I, myself, gave you something I have never been able to give you - an acceptance of your short life, of my memories of you, of our loss. I send you love and hugs and kisses as I have before. I send to you joy and beauty, my peace and my happiness. I send you my heart, precious baby, cocooned within the petals of one perfect, pink rosebud.