|Alex in June of 2011|
I'd been researching my family for some time before my son passed in August 2011. I had become familiar and comfortable working with death certificates, funeral home and cemetery records and even traipsing through cemeteries. For 5 years I've researched a local founding family in my community and I participate in the annual Stories and Stones storytelling program at our local cemetery; the very cemetery where I would bury my son. I feel at home there. I know the names of many of the "residents' and know the stories and history of those individuals who are neighbors to my child. As gut wrenching as it is to lose a child, the entire process has been softened by the knowledge, experience and very act of researching my ancestors.
My son would often come to the computer room and sit with me. He'd act very bored and put upon, but would usually ask what I was working on, or had I found anything interesting. He'd listen and look at photos and, I hope, would absorb the information. When he passed on, I took great comfort in knowing that he would be met by people he knew. I also gives me comfort to know that I'll meet up with him again someday and have the opportunity to meet and reconnect with all those who've gone on before me.
This hobby has brought me comfort and understanding during a very dark time.