She wanted to be alone with her grief at her son’s grave.

On a clear summer day a grieving mother slowly drove through the cemetery to again visit the grave-site of her teenage son. On occasion there would be other visitors around but normally the serenity of the sanctuary was a private place where mother and son could again reunite. Today was different with noise coming from kids rummaging through a nearby garbage can pulling out dead flowers by the handful.

Irritated at the messy sight and thinking of the possibility that these youngsters had been the ones responsible for missing flowers from some of the graves she walked toward the children. “What are you doing?” she briskly announced thinking further about the angelic ornament that had disappeared by her only child’s grave. The small bunch of children turned as one young voice said “…putting flowers on our grandmother’s grave.”

Still wrestling with the physical and emotional loss of her son’s suicide her irritation only slightly subsided. Now wanting to be alone with her own grief she looked with annoyance at the dirty flowers that had been removed from the trash. She stood awkwardly still while another child said “we have given other graves flowers too…” as her eyes followed the finger of the youth pointing to a flurry of flora that extended three times the width of another plot.

Who Are You Here For

Without any hesitation an 8 year old boy dressed in ragged clothes then asked “Who are you here to see?” The mother’s aloofness was now softening when another question quickly following the first “…which one?” The woman then pointed gently to the special place where her son lay. “Over there next to the bench” she said softly. “Oh, we know that one…” came the perceptive reply. Momentarily pausing in awe she continued, “I need to go and sit on the bench to talk and pray with my son” she said managing only the smallest edge in her voice.

The children dispersed into the woods just yards away from the bench as the mother began her silent prayers. In between solemn thoughts she noticed the business of the children gathering leaves and old discarded wreaths in the near distance. As if on cue, the small clan again appeared now at her son’s graveside with hordes of old dried bouquets. The only girl stood in front of the group holding a filthy white rose with mud all over the once pretty ribbon. “We brought your son some flowers” she said.

With few words they covered the gravesite in a mound of flowers. Soft correction was given by one of the three boys as he said “don’t stick the flowers too hard into the ground.” The woman began feeling unconditional sentiment as she sat in silence watching the event.

Unexpected Compassion

Then unexpectedly, the four children lined up facing the grave opposite of the bench when the small girl turned her head to the others and said “Are you ready?…” and then in unison they dropped to their knees preparing to pray. The mother’s feelings of aloneness no longer protected her love as soft salty tears dripped and caught the edge of her mouth.

Still catching teardrops with her hands while driving away from the cemetery, she suddenly became aware that she had witnessed the miraculous angelic hands of mercy that she had been praying for. The messy gravesite of scattered flowers, which was once perfectly groomed, is additionally honored for the authentic love of the angelic caretakers who have yet to be seen again.