I have no grave to place flowers by. I have no headstone to polish and sweep. I do have a beautiful, smooth, wooden box, made by my husband Cam, that we keep on the same shelf as the vodka. We don’t reach for the vodka often, or the box for that matter. The box contains the burned bones of my son.
And now I also have a sixty-five foot cement wall in a parking lot in East Vancouver covered in glorious red paint, at the centre of which there is a huge and uncanny portrait of my son Holden in black and white, smiling out at the world. He looks truly happy. I hope it’s true. There is no good resting place for your child, but this wall makes sense. If there has to be a symbolic location for Holden to be recognized, well, this is his kind of place.