A space and place I have considered sacred since the passing of my daughter, Haven's life has been small grave site area. We decided to place her body at rest at a local, serene, and beautiful cemetery -- thankfully, also happens to be a ten minute drive from our home. I have visited her place of "sleep" everyday since -- and most days of the week, I am accompanied by her daddy (on his days off), her grandparents, her Mama Meg, Papa Jeff and DJ, and her Mama Tin on the weekends. We come here with my light pink garden tote -- garden scissors, blanket(s), and her designated watering pitcher. Whenever one of visits her, we've made it a tradition since the beginning, to keep a "Haven Playlist" on each of our phones to play during our visits with her. The songs range from the Disney lullabies Paul and I used to play while she was still in my womb, to all the Disney classic songs, and as well as the Hillsong Jr. Piano Lullabies of some of my favorite worship songs.
Some days of visitation are joyous and others, painful and filled with tears.
Ever since we've laid Haven to rest in this place, I am no longer fearful and no longer thinking of death as a scary thing or a topic that is usually shunned from the "typical" conversation. Through a delicate balance of both being traumatic and peaceful -- Haven's life and her true home has me eager and so excited for what is to come in the next life. Among the million things that Haven's life and legacy is continuing to show and teach me, is that this place is not our home. It is not our final destination. We are not to get comfortable here. Or feel the urge or need(s) to fit in. To make this place feel permanent.
Because it is not.
On this side of Heaven, we are just preparing, planning, and pressing on until His Kingdom comes and His will be done. We have yet to look forward to what comes next for all of us. "The best is yet to come." For the next life. For our next home. For our true and final destination. Though, I visit and sit in rivers of tears with myself -- there is peace and the Holy Spirit rushes in reassuring me that Haven is doing just great and is in the bestest place possible, as well as reminding me that one day, I will see and hold her again.
My heart feels so anxious and worried about sharing the next few images so openly and publicly, but this is my real, raw, and honest truth and grief journey. Here it is --
My sacred space. My sweet place. My safe Haven.