The Burial

It’s drizzling quietly outside and I’m wondering if I really want to drag the words for this post out of my brain. I’d rather do it sooner than later, so here goes.

On Thursday, we laid our little unborn baby to rest. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 80 degrees, and our time was beautiful as well. I wished all day for pictures of my moments, but the day was too precious to mar with fussing over a camera. The few pictures I was able to take were the times when I could take out my phone and snap a picture as quickly as possible and put it away. I’m glad I left the day in peace like that, but I still wish I could revisit the images in my head in a more tangible way.

We kept the kids out of school, which made for a morning that went at a quieter pace than usual. There is always a bustle to get this crew out the door, but there was still less stress. I was very grateful for that.

First we met Fr. L at the convent at our parish for mass. Their little chapel was just big enough for the family. The chairs are separated so that the sisters can go in and pray, so I worried about having the little ones out of reach during the mass, but it wasn’t really a problem. Gus (age 2) got our of his chair a few times and wandered, but there was no one but us for him to bother. Fr. L mentioned after the mass that it was nice to say a funeral mass where everyone, even the small children, knew the mass parts. (Very often at funerals there is very little participation.) And the kids did know the mass parts. They all sang their little hearts out!

After mass, we all had to travel to the other side of town (about a 45 minute drive)  to pick up the baby in its little casket at the doctor’s office and then drive another 10 miles to the cemetery. There was a short delay at the doctor office in getting the casket sealed, but I think that helped me to get through the cemetery part. I was able to ride a little wave of stress through it.

Queen of Heaven cemetery has a little hill in the middle with a statue of the Holy Family on top. They have reserved this hill for burying babies born before 20 weeks gestation. There is no headstone or label for individual babies, but this service is free to those who wish to have a burial for their lost babies.

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The tiny casket

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Baby Ambose’s place is almost right in front and very close to the statue. The green board was for kneeling, the hole is right under the flowers.

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Jay placed Ambrose into the grave, and each of us threw a handful of dirt onto it. This was the saddest part for me. When James threw his handful in, Gus said, “Good job, James!”

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Jay and Lily start to walk back to the car. You can see the chairs and platform under the tree where we had the little graveside service.

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Paisley carried Molly back to the car.

In setting all of this up, I really worried that I was making a bigger deal than was necessary, but I really think that this was a healing moment for our family. It was a big deal, even if we hadn’t known about the baby for very long. The kids treated the whole thing with deep respect.

After the little service, we took the family out to lunch and took the time to relax a bit. I wanted to end the experience on a positive note.

I’m doing okay these days. I’m not really moping around sad all the time. But I do find that my emotional energy is pretty low right now, so I know that I am still processing all of this a little bit, and probably will be for a while. I am just trying to give myself some space and as much down time as I can manage.

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