The Headstone

Hello little child.

You don’t know me, but I’m here to visit you. Nearly 100 years ago, you came and left this earth in just a day. Your parents loved you. I know this from the headstone they have placed here, which must have cost a lot of money. I know your parents loved you because they are buried right beside you. I know your parents loved you in the way that every mother who has lost a child knows this.

Many generations have come and gone since you were here. There is likely no one alive today who knew you, or even knew of you. But as I walk through this cemetery, I stop and sit for a minute to say hello, because I think your mother would have liked that. She placed this headstone here so you would not be forgotten. Mothers who have lost a child are terrified that their child will be forgotten. I come by to ensure that you are not. Your name is not engraved on this stone. Maybe you were never given one. If you had a name, I would write it now so it could be immortalized to the internet. Your parents could not have even imagined the internet! But instead, I will give you the gift I have: the gift of time.

Little child, you were loved. You were missed. In your few minutes or hours, you played a role in humanity that deserves recognition. So when I come to the cemetery I will stop and pause at each child’s gravestone.

Just to say hello.

Headstone reads: "born and died June 23, 1917"

This post first appeared on Still Standing Magazine.

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