Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Making funeral arrangements

Today was a very hard day.  We had to go to the funeral home to make all the arrangements.  I cried off and on all day.  I didn't want to have to say goodbye again.  I know our sweet baby is with our God and that his little body is just a shell, but it doesn't lessen the hurt at all.  I had laid the little baby blanket I made for Moses next to Sam's stuff on the entry table and when he saw it there this morning, he had a hard time.  For the rest of the day he had a hard time.

When Sam got home from work, we got everyone ready and we all went to the funeral home as a family.  In a way, I was looking forward to seeing Moses' body again.  I hoped I would get a better look at him this time.  When we got there, we had to fill out all the paper work.  They were able to get some foot and hand prints and they are so, so tiny.

The very top one is his left foot, then the next two are hand prints and then another hand, foot and then tiny.

She advised us against viewing his body because in her opinion his body had not held up well due to the preserving fluid they had placed him in at the hospital, but I needed to see him anyway.  She left us for a bit to prepare his body.  She had given us a few brochures to look over in case we wanted a different urn.  There was also a brochure for a company that puts baby's hand or footprints onto a charm for a necklace.  It is, of course, way expensive.  They only offer silver or gold options.  I might call them and let them know that a less expensive option like pewter would be nice for those of us who would just like a memento.  I appreciate the purpose of all of these options, but the cost of it all is like kicking you when you are down.  Its such a grizzly part of this process.  

At first, my intention was just to go with the little plastic urn that comes with the cost of the cremation since our plan is to plant his ashes with a tree in the near future, but there was a different option that appealed to both Sam and I.  They had heart-shaped capsules. We chose the plain silver one that can be engraved at a later date.  After we put his ashes in the ground, we will keep the little heart.

After all that, she brought his little body in wrapped in the blanket I made and nestled in a small box with a few things that the hospital had sent along and the sign that Braden had made.  I had been told that they were going to give us a little box, but I didn't really know what it was for.  Now, I understand.  They had put a little blanket and a small plush puppy in it.  It was really a very sweet gesture.  Braden and I had been talking a bit earlier in the morning about going to the funeral home and why I made the blanket.  He decided to make a sign out of cardboard with Moses' name on it to go with the blanket.  He was holding back tears as we talked and as he made his sign.  It was very touching to see his heart.

As I looked at him, I was able to see all of his little features this time.  I got to touch his little hands and feet and see his face for the first time.  At the hospital, his head and upper body had been covered by blood and placenta and I could really only see his legs.  He was beautiful.  He looked like a little doll.  His eyes and mouth weren't all the way formed yet, but they were still very distinguishable.  His little nose was formed enough for me to see it looked a lot like Braden's.  I was able to finally hold my baby.  In the sadness, that was another bright spot.  I was also able to take a few pictures of him.  Some might think that gross or somehow morbid, but I think he looks beautiful and I'm very grateful to be able to have a picture of ALL of my kids.  I don't know if I will post his picture on here or not.  Though I am sharing all of this, I am wanting to protect our family and I don't want some thoughtless comment to be given in ignorance about how his little body looks or why I took a pic of his dead body.  I'm just not willing or able to put up with that sort of insensitivity.  I also want to keep him to myself for the time being.

At first, the kids were kept out and she took his body away, but they had asked if they were going to get to see his body and I didn't want them always wondering or wishing that they had gotten to see him when they had the chance.  So, I had her bring his body back in and all the kiddos got to see him.  No one got upset or grossed out or scared in any way.  They were curious and very interested that this was the body of their baby brother.  I think it will be some years before any of them really get the depth of it all, but I'm glad they got to see him in this way.  I wish that I had had the presence of mind to take a picture with all of them.  I would have liked to have them all in at least one picture.

I left with a heavy heart.  I hate the thought of his little body being burned to ashes, but I hate the thought of it just decaying in some grave somewhere, too.  I know we made the right choice in going about it this way.

When we got home, I felt a sense of relief even though it was a very hard thing to have to do.  I'm relieved his body is no longer at the hospital and that it is being treated honorably and all those arrangements are taken care of, but it is very wrong to have to make these arrangements for our child.  Just wrong.

1 comment:

mzzterry said...

Shelly, I really think you "get" this on many levels, but there are no right or wrongs in this, it is extremely variable and personal. While I might have or have not made the same choices as you in this situation is not even an a sister in Christ it is for me to love you and be here to offer you whatever you need to get thru this. And I do. You have amazing strength, I think we know where that comes from, thank yo LORD ;) Bless you & your family.