about the work.
I painted these two rocks for our twin girls, nicknamed Sunshine and Daisy, after visiting the cemetery. We lost our identical twin girls at 24 weeks, and never got to see them.
The section of the Jewish cemetery where our girls were laid to rest is just for lost babies. The standard practice in Orthodox communities is for the rabbis to "handle it" when a baby dies. My mother notified those who take care of it, and I never heard a word after. They don't tell you where the baby is buried and wont even allow the bill to be sent to the grieving parents, instead sending it to my mother. About four weeks after the loss, I thought I would die of heartbreak and needed something tangible to grasp onto so that I knew I had not just dreamed the whole thing.
I called my mother who told me the name of the cemetery and I went there the next day. It was so sad. Most of the grave markers were broken and faded, no-one ever visited this little corner and it just felt so .... forgotten. My little girls didn't even have markers on their plots at all. There is a Jewish custom to leave a rock at the graveside of a loved one, to let their spirit know you were there. I'd brought some small rocks from my backyard, but they felt so insignificant.
I came home and found these two large rocks in my in-laws garden. I cleaned them and spent hours and hours painting them. I added glitter and a thick glossy protective coating. I want them to sparkle in the sunlight and I want people who see them to know that these girls are not forgotten, and they are incredibly loved. I imagine the grass will grow around them and they will become like a spec of brightness on a dreary and depressing landscape. Perhaps one day I'll go back. I am a little worried they will be removed or vandalized, so I prefer to think that they are there, exactly as I picture them in my head, bright and shining in the sunlight.
about the contributor.
Tova blogs at OMG, We are Having Twins.