So, it's been 4 years and we just this last week put in Matthias' permanent grave marker. It's a long story why it's taken so long, including, among other things, problems with the cemetery and my own issues with finding/designing/affording exactly the right stone. Matthias' grave is the only thing on earth I have to care for and tend for him. I could not feel happy putting a Precious Moments angel with the words "Playing in God's Garden" on it. I had in my mind what I wanted and it had to be just right. And - finally!- it is.
Richard and I both felt badly that there's only been a temporary marker at Matthias' grave for this long, but the very special thing that has come as a result is that Matthias' two little brothers were able to help Richard and Grace install the headstone! It was so precious and dear to watch all three kids work on it.
Some of you who were at Matthias' funeral may remember that Richard had the privilege and blessing of digging his son's grave. That was very unexpected, but it turned out to be something Richard has treasured - being able to work and sweat in the August heat just one time for his firstborn son. Well, installing the gravestone was a blessing, too, which Grace and I both felt well. To be able to do something so concrete here on earth for our son and brother seemed right and good.
Here are the pictures of us installing Matthias' grave marker and how it looks now:
Richard digging the space
Then the kids filled it part way with gravel to give it a firm foundation
Patting it smooth
Measuring the depth
Now some sand on top of the gravel to make the foundation very level and smooth
Richard dropped the stone in using nylon straps, in case he had to take it out again
Making sure it's level
The grass around it should grow back in quickly.
These are images of Matthias' actual handprints and footprints,
and part of Isaiah 40:11, which is a verse dear to my heart.
Grace remembering and missing her brother
I often take pictures of the kids at this monument when we visit Matthias' grave.
Grace wrote this poem and placed it by the grave:
Matthias is born!
Let us sound the horn!
He has the sweetest little body,
I doubt he will be naughty.
He is so very sweet,
He will always be a treat.
But now he is dead,
But God is the Head.
I will always miss my brother,
Even though I have another.