My wife and I have lost two children, and we have three living children. One day, my wife spoke to me about her ambivalence about visiting the graves of our deceased children.

Urge to Visit Cemetery

You know Ken,” she said. “Sometimes I have thoughts about visiting the unmarked graves where Carolyn and Matthew are buried in New York.”

It used to be a vague distant, almost undefined feeling rather than a crystal-clear thought. Then, like a puff of mystical smoke, it dissipated. It used to be that way, so I guess that’s why I never talked about it. Recently though, the thoughts became more real and more frequent.”

Balancing Pain and Joy

Something calls me there.” Sheila continued, “but I’m torn. After I think it through, I realize we need to leave the past behind and not allow it to distract us from our three kids. We can’t let it detract from the joy that Kim, Danny, and Adam bring to our lives. I don’t want to carry the darkness of the past to them. We need to keep the bad thoughts from flooding our lives. I think that my reluctance to visiting the graves is a commitment to the future and a fear of dwelling on the past. I can’t allow that misery behind us to consume my thoughts and dreams.”

Although Carolyn and Matthew were with us for only a fleeting moment, they are part of us. We will carry them always. They are expressed in our love, devotion, and nurturing of Kim, Danny, and Adam. So, they are part of them too. They are forever etched in our minds and burned in our hearts. They live on in us and our family, their brothers and sister. I realize that we don’t need tangible visible reminders. They are in our bodies, our arms, our legs. They are expressed every day in our three darlings. Remembering isn’t a physical thing. I will carry them with me forever.”

Sheila’s face was pensive, expressing both sadness and happiness together.

I have similar feelings,” I said in a somber tone. “But there’s no way I could have expressed them as eloquently as you have. Thanks that helped me. Maybe we’ll go someday, but not now. The time just isn’t right.”

Read more by Ken Lefkowitz: Husband Admires Wife’s Strength After Child-Loss – Open to Hope

Check out Ken’s book: Weave of Destiny: Lefkowitz, Ken: 9781734798616: Books


Ken Lefkowitz

KEN LEFKOWITZ has a BA degree from Brooklyn College, an MS degree from the City University of NY and a graduate business studies at St. John's University. Currently retired. Formerly a consultant and Sr. Director for major corporations, where he managed people from all walks of life and from many locations and cultures. Book “Weave of Destiny” is about the jagged road he and his wife traveled to have a family of their own. Published by Legacy Book Press. Other writing and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Courier Post/USA Today, and the Washington Post as well as in professional business journals.

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