Woman kneeling and talking to boy. | Source: Shutterstock

During her son’s funeral ceremony, Nancy noticed a young boy crying over another grave and decided to greet him later. But he was gone by the time she walked over there. Instead, she saw a heartbreaking picture on the tombstone.

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“We say goodbye to Matthew today, knowing he will always be in his family’s heart…”

The priest had prepared some words, and Nancy was grateful for all the kindness, but she wasn’t truly listening. Her only son was gone. A drunk driver had taken him away, and her grief eclipsed everything else.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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The funeral ceremony continued as other guests said some words, and eventually, her son’s coffin was lowered into his eternal resting place. Nancy despaired internally, not showing many emotions except for a few errant tears.

There would be plenty of time to grieve later and to be bitter. Despite their love and affection for Matthew, none of the guests truly understood her pain. They would all go on with their lives and forget about him, but Nancy knew that would never happen to her.

Her life was essentially over, as far as she was concerned. The sun would never shine again. Music would never cheer her up, and no words of condolence could ease her mind. She waited for the ceremony to end, wanting nothing but to go home and drown or rot in bed.

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She had to look away when the cemetery staff started pouring dirt on the grave. It was too much. But her eyes caught something. A boy stood next to a nearby tomb, which had to be freshly made. He was crying silently, and no one was beside him.

That tiny show of grief pierced her heart. Others are going through the same grief I’m experiencing, she thought sadly. This pain is universal. People lose the ones they love all the time.

Somehow, she wanted to comfort the lonely kid and promised to talk to him after her son’s ceremony.

At last, people started moving. They came to say goodbye and express their support. Nancy nodded, thanking them quietly. No one pressed her for more. At last, her son’s resting place was fully covered.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

She said a few low words to the tombstone, placing her bouquet on top. She thanked the employees and started walking away, realizing the boy was no longer at the other tombstone. Still, something told her to get closer, and she did.

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As expected, the other fresh grave had a tombstone. The deceased was Marianne, but a small picture sitting next to a few flowers, which had obviously been dug up from the nearby gardens, caught Nancy’s attention.

A gust of quick but strong wind blew the photograph away, and Nancy acted quickly. “Oh, no!” she said, rushing to grab it before it got too far. Fortunately, the wind eased, and she was only a few feet away when she caught the photo.

Nancy walked back to the grave, looking around the grass for a small rock to stop the wind from blowing again. But she also noted the image. A beautiful young woman stood smiling with the boy wrapped around her leg.

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They were in front of a pier, and Nancy remembered taking Matthew to fish at a local pier at one point. Her heart squeezed painfully, but she was glad to have seen that. Upon placing the picture back in its place with a tiny rock to hold it, she noticed she wasn’t alone anymore.

“Thank you,” the boy said. His voice was timid and low, but Nancy felt his genuine gratitude.

“You’re welcome,” she answered. “Was this your mother?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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“Yeah,” he nodded. His eyes were red-rimmed, but he was no longer crying.

“I’m sorry. I just lost my son,” Nancy said, slowing thickly. “I just buried him over there.”

“I’m sorry,” the boy said. “Are you alone now too?”

Nancy stared at him for a few seconds before nodding. “Yes, I’m all alone now.”

“Me, too. At least you’re a grown-up,” the boy continued. “I wish I was a grown-up to stay in my house.”

“You have to leave your home? Why?” Nancy probed. She wasn’t sure why.

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“Mom’s gone,” he shrugged and pointed at someone far behind them. “I have to go with the lady.”

Nancy turned and saw a woman dressed in business attire, carrying a folder. She knew without asking that it was a social worker, meaning this boy was an orphan with no other family.

They spoke some more. The boy’s name was Billy, and he had adored spending time with his mother. They went out every weekend on adventures, and Nancy wished she had done the same when Matthew was growing up. She hadn’t had time.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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When the social worker approached them, something in her heart told her not to let the boy go. “Excuse me, ma’am. Could I have a word?” Nancy requested and escorted her a few paces away from the kid.

They spoke for a while, as she wanted to know the arrangements for the kid, and the social worker was reluctant to answer her questions. But the topic of the boy’s new home came up, and Nancy revealed she got a foster parent license years ago before she knew she was pregnant with Matthew.

“Mrs. Carter!” her housekeeping, Julia, greeted, and her eyes bulged as Nancy entered her house with a wide smile. Of course, the woman didn’t expect her boss to smile so brightly after her son’s funeral, but that was not the most surprising thing.

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“Julia, he’s my new son!” Nancy exclaimed, lifting the boy she was carrying a little higher. He may have been seven or eight, but she couldn’t resist holding him in he arms. The kid seemed confused but not entirely displeased. “His name is Billy. Billy, this is Julia.”

Julia was just as baffled, but she recovered quickly. “Well, nice to meet you, Billy. How do you feel about waffles?”

Nancy finally put the boy down and closed her house door. Still apprehensive, the boy shrugged. “I love them.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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“Good,” the housekeeper said, and Nancy beamed with happiness. Billy would never replace Matthew in her heart, and she knew he would always remember his real mother. But they would start a new family, always remembering those they had lost.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who buried her son and discovered him living in a gas station a year later.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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