Today was a gorgeous, sunny, springlike day (10C/50F), and so, when we made our usual weekly visit to the cemetery, we decided to take a walk around the property. On our way back to Katie's niche, we decided to make a stop at the nearby Garden of Angels, which is the part of the cemetery designated for infant burials. Making arrangements after Katie's stillbirth, we were shown a spot there that could have been hers, but declined: it just seemed too, too sad, & the thought of interring her ashes in a niche seemed somewhat more bearable than lowering them into the cold, unforgiving ground.
Over the 11+ years since then, however, through our support group, we've met many parents -- probably almost a dozen that I can think of -- whose babies were buried there (as well as a few others whose babies were buried in the same cemetery but, like Katie, just not in the Garden of Angels). And we go over there to visit, every now & then, and sadly note the number of new mounds of earth & temporary markers that have appeared since our last visit.
We hadn't been there in awhile, & oh my. :( So many fresh, new, tiny graves. Three from January; two in the past week alone. Dh sadly noted that, from the first time we visited there in 1998, at least three new rows have been added to the Garden, stretching back further & further from the road.
Some of the graves have flowers & notes, stuffed animals & small toys sitting on top. Some are empty, every time we visit. Eventually, the temporary markers get removed; some have never been replaced with permanent ones. I wonder whether it's a matter of cost, whether it's a matter that's just too painful for the parents to face, or whether the absence of a marker indicates that they are trying to forget that the pregnancy ever happened.
While I know that not everyone visits the cemetery weekly, as dh & I do, it makes me sad to think that some of these babies' final resting places go unmarked & unvisited.
Those of you who have buried babies: how often do you visit the cemetery (if ever)?