Today I went to an old disused church for my A Level coursework. The Church was built in the 12th century, and partially demolished in 1852 when the new bigger church was built near by.
I need to share my feelings over the experience. I saw an old grave headstone dating from 1765 for a William Phelps who passed away aged 96. His headstone said that he was gone to join his late beloved wife Abigail and son Luke. Nothing unusual there you might think, but the headstone beside William’s was for Abigail and Luke. She passed away aged just 21, 3 months after burying Luke aged just 18 months.
Seeing these graves affected me in ways I could never have imagined, and I cant imagine what was worse for William – losing his wife and young son so close together, or living so long without them. From the wording on his headstone it seems as though William never got over his devastating loss, never remarried and spent his life waiting for the day he would rejoin his family.
It breaks my heart to think of Abigail, 21 and burying her baby, and William, still a young man burying his wife and child, living a long life – even by todays standards – without them. Baby Luke died younger than my own son is now. Suddenly I feel so grateful that he is happy and healthy, and I find myself recommitting to being the best parent I can be and to spend my life devoted to making him happy.