Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Tomb of the Unknown Baby


On Saturday, we made our normal cemetery visit. That’s a huge part of our new normal now. Oddly, it’s also a nice and quiet place to talk. Nobody is around, no one really makes sound, and we don’t carry phones. It’s just a quiet place to think about Doria, to talk, and not be distracted. It’s a little odd that the apartment building across the fence is filled with children, but that’s all the way over there, hundreds of feet away. That cemetery visit is the thing I most look forward to every Saturday.

We always end up looking at other grave markers, too. We feel especially sad to see graves with less marking, which tend to be from families who came from much farther away, usually China. It feels sad, but it makes sense, too, since they likely can’t make the trip to visit. This time, we noticed a grace very close to Doria’s that has something where a marker would have been, but nothing to mark it. I called it the Tomb of the Unknown Baby.

We often like to pray for comfort for the families that are represented there in the baby section. We know their pain like few can and no one wants to. That’s not a knock on anyone. This just isn’t something anyone wants to experience. I know that we don’t. We’d rather have Doria than her loss. So, we pray for these people that we uniquely identify with. When we pray for the family with the Tomb of the Unknown Baby, it’s really a different measure of our trust in God. We don’t know who we’re praying for, where they came from, or where they are, but He does. That part works.

If that family were to venture back to this cemetery, I don’t know if they could find their child’s grave. That hurts, and it’s not really my problem. I can’t imagine life without a good reminder of Doria, but that family might just be living it. The whole thing made me realize a couple of important things:

1) I am so glad that we have reminders of Doria, and the people who care about her and about us. I hate the idea of Doria fading into an unknown baby. She’s kind of a big deal.

2) It made me realize how much I need those reminders just to function. I paid a great visit to Doria’s tree last Wednesday. It was just a great time of thanksgiving and prayer. I was shut down for the rest of the night, but that was going to happen anyway. That’s a crash and burn evening. Also, I simply can’t function at all on Saturday until I’ve been to the cemetery. For weeks, I’ve had goals to accomplish on Saturdays. For weeks, I haven’t been able to concentrate on a single thing until we make that visit. My Saturday depends on it. I never thought that would be part of life, but Doria’s death does change things.

If you’re part of those reminders that we have for Doria, thank you. We’re forever grateful. We needed that then, we need it now, and I don’t see that need fading anytime soon.




2 thoughts on “Tomb of the Unknown Baby

  1. We go quite often to the cemetery. I too find a sense of peace going there. I also somehow feel like I am taking care of my sons. I know that sounds strange but I can’t care for them the way most parents do – so I check on their little plot of land. I clean the headstone, cut back the grass and cry. Sending you hope and hugs.

    • Thanks for your comments!

      That’s about what we both think. It’s what we can do to take care of them.

      We started to plan Christmas decorations. We barely do that for our apartment. It’s an odd situation.

      Thanks a million!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s