Have previously written about the Garden of Angels, at Beechwood Cemetery. Visit it regularly, following visit to parents’/grandparents’ grave. Very important to my younger daughter. She knows the names. Particularly one.
The place where unexpected dead child rests. No family plot. Children alone. Some passing the same day as day of commencing life. Others a few months, or a few years. Together as a group, but alone as to family.
Families tending to the small graves, leaving momentos from a child’s life cut short. Toys, flowers.
Speak to my daughter about how this little one passed before the age of 10. Walking among the rest.
Then back to the car, ready to leave. Figure appears. Older. Could be street person one regularly passes by. Long grey hair, tied back. Weathered face. Slight smile at the other graves. Goes to the special one.
Out of the car.
Are you related to her?
I’m her father. It’s her birthday.
Brought my younger daughter out to meet him. Particular sensitivity. Hers and his.
We come out here, year after year. My daughter talks to her. How did she die?
Hit by a car. Ran between cars and into the street. She was so small, less than five feet.
How old would she be now?
Asked if I could take his picture with my younger daughter, who needs the replay, both here and always. He agreed.
Two pictures, never to be published, unless meet him again, and he consents.
Left him, with thanks for his time.
Crouched down, looking through the grave.
Staring at her.