Tuesday, December 16, 2008


A bereavement counselor phoned a few minutes ago to let us know the remains of the girls were ready for us to have.

After much wrangling and attempting to juggle schedules - "well, I'm not here tomorrow and here Thursday from 10:15 to noon..." I'm sorry, person I've never met before, but tell me again why this is all about you? - I called M., he came home, and we went over right now to get them.

Never mind that I cannot stand the hangdog looks, the muted voices, the silent walk to the office all coming from a stranger, the obligatory gravitas. Never mind that. Please, just give us our girls. And they did.

And now Isob*l and Jov*ta are home. With us. And I am feeling strengthened.

And I have questions. For my strong sisters who have already felt this loss. Please, if you don't mind, would you share with me how you chose to honor and memorialize your children? How long did you wait? Who did you include, if anyone? What felt right to you?


Pam said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

loribeth said...

We held a very small funeral/memorial service after my father arrived, 11 days after I delivered our daughter, at the church dh & I attended. We had her cremated, and her ashes interred in a niche at a nearby cemetery. (I put in a letter with her urn, & dh put in a book.) We still visit the cemetery just about every weekend. It is nice to have a place to go that's "hers."

It was just 11 of us -- dh & me, our parents, his brother & his wife & two boys, & the minister. I didn't think I could handle the pity & grief of a whole mob of people on top of my own. In retrospect, I kind of wish we had invited everyone. I sometimes wonder whether it would have made our loss more real to them.

I'm sure you will find something to do that feels right for you. (((hugs)))

Stacie said...

I am so glad that the girls are now at home. Much love to you.

Barbara said...

We didn't want a funeral, we took George to a spot of wild woodland and Ray dug his sons grave. The one thing he could do for him. I placed him in the ground in his tiny biodegradable box and we planted daffodils and crocus in his spot. We sent him back to nature.

Whatever you do has to be right for you and your girls. I'm sure whatever you choose will be beautiful and perfect and right.

Heather said...

The only 'service' we had was at the hospital, the day I was discharged, two days after Henrick was stillborn. I wanted it to be over and done with and go home. I didn't want to make small talk or be told that Henrick was in a better place. I wasn't bitter, but I wasn't ready for a gathering. After a month I too wondered if a larger service may have been nice for the same reason loribeth stated, but I don't regret anything.

Six months later my daughter scattered my son's ashes on a lake in Canada. This lake is 8 hours from our house, but is a happy place we visit each summer. I didn't say a word. It was the only thing my daughter could do for her brother, and I wanted it to be a sweet memory for her. It certainly is a sweet memory for me. As she was letting Henrick go, my daughter said, "Good bye, Henrick. I wish I could have known you." It was just my husband, daughter and myself, and it was lovely.

I found you through Nancy's blog. I'm so so sorry for your loss.

Mo said...

I'm glad you have your Isobel and Jovita back with you and are taking strength from their presence. I've never gone through the loss of a child, but I too well remember the obligatory gravitas I encounter from health care professionals when I had cancer in my twenties. The looks on their faces were sometimes "That POOR girl." Made me thinking they had me written off.

Take time to think about how you want to memorialize their all-too-brief time with you. Who you want to include. What feels right to you. Take all the time you need. So much of what has happened to you has been so out of control. I'm glad you can deal with this one thing however feels best to you.

Thinking of you.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to know that you have your kids back. Happy Holidays!

Skerry said...

No advice on how to honor your girls, but I did want to let you know I am still thinking about you and M and continue to keep you both in my prayers.

Ryan's Mommy said...

You are so strong.

You will find the right way to memorialize your girls. There are some wonderful and very personal stories shared here. Good ideas, all.

Kami said...

We didn't do anything. I was being very pragmatic about things. Because Ernest wasn't healthy, I told myself it was just an early miscarriage that went on too long. It happens. We would have another.

Today, I don't have any regrets. We named the baby at the suggestion of our midwife which I am very glad for. We got his ashes weeks and weeks later and since Brad didn't think I was strong enough, he picked an urn and brought them home. Our intention was to scatter his ashes - just the two of us - some place special, but we never found that place.

For a couple of years his ashes sat surrounded by plants on an end table. They were close to us, but we couldn't see them unless we looked. We still have them in small box of baby things that has since been raided for LB.

I asked Brad a couple of days ago when I was thinking about you if he thought we did enough ceremony around Ernest dying and he thinks we did. I do too. It might have helped in the early days to acknowledge what that loss meant to us because I think I was in denial, but years later it is ok.

nancy said...

I'm glad you feel strengthened about your girls being home with you both.

Dani819 said...

Found you through Barbara's blog. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your girls.

We wound up scattering our son's ashes in the Hudson River, in a quiet spot that we had gone on vacation several years before. Just the two of us went- though both our parents offered to go, we wanted to be alone with our son and each other. We each said someting very brief and scattered the ashes together.

We both liked the idea of our son's being part of the river and part of nature. Now that it's starting to snow here, I like to think about the fact that maybe he's part of a snowflake. Nutty, I know, but it helps.

Sending you hugs and wishing you peace where you can find it.

Lisa DG said...

We had Sally Ann cremated and her ashes put into an urn and a locket I wear around my neck. I put together a memory box with all the U/S pictures, rememberence cards, doctor's stuff, my bracelet from the hospital and the pink wrap they placed Sally in when she was born/died. I lit a Yahrtzeit candle (Jewish memorial candle) in memory of her. That was about all we did. My dad said, "now that THAT'S over, you should go on a diet to lose some of that weight you gained." Needless to say, I didn't feel I needed to include my family.

Delenn said...

I liked what Natalie did for her Devin. Here blog is really good--