While we were down in the deep south with my in-laws earlier this month we were finally able to visit Little Dave's gravesite. The last time we had seen it they hadn't placed the marker yet. My sister-in-law does a good job of keeping it cleaned up. When it was all happening last year I went into a sort of detached survival mode and I didn't think it really mattered where he was buried, but in retrospect I'm glad we didn't leave him in California.
I wasn't bothered by the thought of visiting the grave. The reality has become such a fact of daily life that it was just another errand to run while we were in town. We had been looking forward to some quiet alone time there, but unfortunately the groundskeepers had chosen that corner of the cemetery to have a social chat on their riding mowers. We didn't stay long because there didn't seem to be much to say; Little Dave had a freshly baptized free pass into heaven, so he wasn't in need of any prayers. If anything, we asked him to pray for us.
Everything was fine until we decided to leave. The maternal instinct rebelled and all the irrational emotion came flooding back. Just the physical act of leaving him there was surprisingly hard. He belongs with us, after all; why should we have to leave him there next to the highway? Even though I know better, I can understand why some people keep their relatives in urns on the mantle.
Maintaining our faith often seems like a constant battle between what we know and what we feel. Fortunately faith is there to keep us sane when our emotions run amok.