The Sticker That Kept Me Alive

How a discovery in my son’s closet became my lifeline

Viki Fernandez-Hines
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readFeb 23, 2024

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Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

I looked around to make certain no one could see me. The cemetery groundskeeper had just walked around to the other side of his van, where I was now out of his view.

This was my chance.

The temporary fencing around the crypts and headstones still needed to be pulled out slightly to accommodate my lower body. It clanked loudly enough to draw some attention as I slipped through, but I was too committed at this point to look back to see if I had been noticed.

With my heart racing and anticipating the angry yell of someone official noticing my break-in, I continued hastily toward my goal. Only a few meters left.

“One doesn’t come to Paris and NOT make it to Jim’s grave,” I whispered to myself in an attempt to justify this move that was so out of my character.

I kept my gaze steady on the headstone as I approached with the sticker in hand, the backing already unpeeled with the adhesive side exposed to make my mission easier. When I arrived next to the crypt, I placed the sticker onto the pebbled exterior and rubbed it a few times to ensure its permanence.

Phase one, complete. Phase two: document the moment.

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Viki Fernandez-Hines
Human Parts

Free-floating centrist, writer of inspirational stories, middle-aged “woke”-ness, loss, mental health, travel and minimalism. https://bit.ly/3o8eKfv