Words for a Headstone

Words for a headstone

A painting I created for my friend.

A few years ago, I received a birth announcement from a good friend with a darling photo of a newborn. It was also a death announcement. This sweet infant only lived a few short moments as her complications were too great.

At the same time I was going through a hard time in my life. Suddenly, my own trials and heartaches seemed very small in comparison.

Sometimes I gather words, other times I gather art supplies . . . and then I let my heart bleed on either canvas or journal. This time I decided to pick up my watercolors and create something for my friend. With each stroke of the paintbrush, and each line of my pen, I thought a lot about the different trials people are faced with. I thought about my friend, I thought about eternity, and children, and life. These are questions that conjure within me usually while I am deep into the trees and mountains, far removed from people. But at the time, I was living in the desert and I felt trapped, both mentally and physically. I realized I was living day to day, without stepping back and looking at the majestic view before me. Even if that view was of rocks, sand, and prickly plants.

Because I am a lover of literature, I dwelled on the words I wanted to use in this painting for a long time. I asked myself, what would comfort me? Finally, I sketched in “Life and Love are Eternal.” Because, well, I think that they are.

I framed the painting, then sent if off with a sympathy card. My friend contacted me and told me that it brought tears to her eyes when she opened it.

A couple years after this experience, I received another birth announcement from my same friend. I was thrilled to see that through her dark clouds she was able to get pregnant again. Along with the announcement, she enclosed a note that reads. “I had struggled forever with what to put on my baby’s headstone. I wanted something positive and pretty. I used your words. So, thank you again for your painting and words. They will forever be on her headstone and I’ll forever remember your kindness.”

I am honored to have inspired words for a headstone.


p.s. I asked my friend if I could write about this before I posted it.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. this is beautiful . Such a sad situation though


  2. Sheila W. Staley says:

    Having lost an infant son myself, I can tell you that what you did for your friend was probably one of the best things anyone did for her. Your words were simple and perfect. I love reading your posts Tara!


    1. taramayoros says:

      How did I miss this comment Sheila! Thank you so much!


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