I was with all three of my boys at Koen's grave this morning. Tobin walked the whole way to Koen from the car, while hanging on to my hands. I didn't bring a blanket today, so the cleanest place to set him, while I pruned flowers, was on Koen's headstone. Hackett takes great pride in cemetery plant watering and had busied himself with that task. I just stood and watched my two, so full of life boys, while Tobin was directly overtop Koen's remains. The vision and memory today will be engrained in my memory, even though I have no physical picture. I was overcome, it was heartwrenching and absolutely stunningly beautiful at the same time. It was a surreal moment, and as it unfolded, time seemed to slow down and I waited for the music to begin playing in the background of this movie-like scene. Then Hackett finished his plant care, walked over to me with giant tears in his eyes, buried his face into me, and I hugged my two full of life boys fiercly, while we grieved the one who is missing. We said our goodbyes to Koen and returned to the car. When I was done buckling Tobin, I turned and saw the most lamentable image. Hackett, not ready to leave his two-year-old brother, had returned to his grave by himself and was knelt down, kissing his handing and placing it on Koen's headstone. I let him linger and then watched the tears drip from his cheeks. I can't seem to shake the emotional heaviness and sorrowful beauty of today.
I took this picture of Tobin and Koen last week. And the bottom two pictures are just from this week, reminders to me that Hackett remembers.