When Shawn died, I knew that his soul was immediately in the presence of our God. I instinctively knew that his body had simply been an earthly vessel that was temporary to this life.
But that didn't stop me from loving that physical body . . . one of the three little bodies that is a unique combination of the love that Brian and I share.
Even in the beginning of my grief, I never made it a habit to visit the cemetery often. The intellectual part of my being couldn't rationalize spending much of any time at his graveside, and my faith still holds that he is with the Father.
But then there are those days. Those days when the momma in me needs to mother him. Needs to do something for him! Just as I do the small things for Clayton and Jackson, the mother in me craves to do those tasks for Shawn. But there are no tasks to be done.
No shirt collar to be turned down.
No mouth to be wiped.
No boo-boo to kiss.
No high-five to be given after a job well done.
No "I love you's" passed in conversation.
Simply put, he doesn't need me where he is at. He is with the Almighty Caretaker of the universe!
But his momma needs him. Needs to care for him in the physical ways that mommas do. I was so desperate in the early years. I literally pictured myself digging the grave up just so I could hold and touch him one last time. Just one last "let me make sure you're okay before I leave you on your own" moment.
I'm certainly past those desperate moments these days, but my idle hands still must do.
For eight years, my Grandmother faithfully renewed the flowers on Shawn's grave. I asked her in the very beginning to be my stand in because emotionally I simply couldn't handle the task. However, a couple of years ago I felt like I was finally ready to take on the job of keeping his flowers refreshed. I cried the whole time I was in Hobby Lobby buying the flowers. But once I was done, I felt a renewed sense of spirit. I polished his marker and cleaned up the neglected ones around it. And every few months, I repeat the same little routine. A time when I can reflect while I let my hands do a mother's work.