Thursday, July 26, 2012

The funeral home...

Taking your loved one to the funeral home... It's not something you want to think about when you've just brought a life into the world.  It feels like the whole "circle of life" was more like a dot.

Trever could not imagine handing Abby off to someone at the hospital.  It was scary to not know where she would be, how she would be handled and cared for.

So we decided that we would take her ourselves.

It was a bit strange to wheel through the hospital with Abby in my arms, wrapped to snugly in a pink blanket.  I only heard one person mention the joy of a baby.  She was a joy, and I was proud to be holding her.  Not that I didn't wish deeply that her story was the same as my other children, that I would put her safely in the car and take her home.  That Trever and I would feel the desire to shout from the rooftops that we had a new baby, that our lives were filled with new joy.

We walked out of the hospital with my parents, Trever's brother and Beth.  I'm thankful we were surrounded by support.  And our fabulous nurse, Diana was the one to wheel us out.  She is so calming to me.

Then we went to get in the car.  I have to say, even though Abby wasn't alive, it was strange to hold her while driving.  I kidded Trever about getting pulled over... can you even imagine the conversation with the cop??? It might have been worth it, I know we would have laughed afterword.

The funeral home has been great, but the woman we met with was not my favorite, maybe she shouldn't work with families of children.  We sat in the chapel with Abby after we were done filling out paperwork.

It's amazing how easily it is to transition from "business" to pain.  I felt a bit detached as we walked into the chapel.  But one look down at our tiny angel and I crumpled.  We knew this was it, our last moment holding her.  She was gone, but we were about to say goodbye to the only part we could really hold on to.

We decided that we wanted to keep her outfit... but we didn't want to send her off not dressed.  So Trev ran out to the car to get a different outfit.  And he came back with a beautifully hand knitted sleeper.  I so gracefully said "Really?  You picked the one heirloom quality outfit that we have?  The one she wore for pictures??" (I said it with a bit of a laugh, he knows how to take my words).  Trev said he had thought about that... but once he had it in his hands he just went with it.

So back to the car...

With more defined expectaions...

And he came back with a simple pink sleeper... perfect.  But no hat...

So back to the car...

And finally she had clothes and a hat.

What I didn't know was that each time he went back and forth to the car the lady who was helping us would say "Are you done?" (yes, she lacked verbal skills)  And he would have to say No, not yet.

He said he surely looked crazy... running back and forth to the car, digging through the luggage in the trunk.

She did bring a blanket to wrap around Abby (we're giving her credit for this since we're also giving her lots of not-so-wonderful credit).  As Trever wrapped Abby he had to ask if she should be completely covered or wrapped like a baby... there should be protocol posted somewhere.  It's easy to wonder what the "rules" are.. but really???? Who cares about that stuff at that moment.

As we drove away from the funeral home we were drained; physically and emotionally exhausted.  But we had some comedic moments to lighten our hearts, that always helps.

And when we got home we were surrounded by our kids, their smiles make our hearts smile.  Trever took a nap while I played with Andrew.  He is like a ray of sunshine, filling my heart with joy.  When Trever woke up he was in lots of pain, filled with his sadness.  After we talked and held each other we invited the kids in... they can't take away the sadness but they balance it with such intense joy.  We are so blessed.

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