A week ago yesterday

Thursday, January 4, 2007

We buried Hayden in Simcoe.

At first, I didn't want to do that. At the hospital, the social worker talked to us about our options for his care. The thought of a grave, a stone, a cemetary....too much. We thought we would just leave it to the hospital.

But a week or so later, James was doing a service call at a funeral home in Jarvis, just minutes outside of Simcoe. Jamie's family is from Simcoe, in fact, he lived there for much of his childhood. He got talking with the funeral directors, members of the Salvation Army there, and asked them about how they dealt with miscarriages---if they dealt with them.
They said that they did have families in a few times a year, asking for help with the burial of an early lost baby. As it turns out, they don't charge for any of the services, because "if we have to make our money off of babies, we're getting out of this business". James was really pleased with alot of what they said. There is already a family plot in a cemetary in Simcoe and we got permission to use a small part of it....

So we contacted the hospital and found out that it wasn't too late. We could still have Hayden.
Everything seemed to fall into place....I had a beautiful sense of peace that the Lord was setting this up for us. I was finishing up my Christmas shopping and I went into the General Store at Eastgate. There, in a gardening booth in the back, I found a flat stone with a poem carved on it:

So after I stood there bawling for a moment, I snapped it up and bought it. I took it to the monument place down the road and they engraved his name and the date on it.

And on Wednesday, Dec. 27th, James and I, my parents, his parents and an aunt from the area traveled to Simcoe and laid him to rest. Jamie's dad said a nice prayer and we placed him right next to the big Kent stone already there. It felt nice to see his place next to that grand stone with his last name already on it.

I don't want to spend alot of time posting about this, because I know that it's sad for people to read; hard to read for those who've gone through it....but perhaps helpful as well. I've learned that not everyone is treated as well as we were. If they went through the emergency room, or if they were earlier in their pregnancies...hospitals just aren't as sensitive as they should be.

But I wanted to just say a few more things, and then that should be it. It's about that often wondered question: What to say?

What to say to your friend or co-worker, your family member or whomever, who has just lost a baby?

Perhaps others would say differently, but I feel very strongly now about the answer. Just say something. Don't assume that nothing will be better than a bungled condolence. It's totally not. When you say nothing, the grieving mom or dad hears the message that sends: You're not really suffering anything worth my saying something.

The social worker in the hospital pointed out that my choir kids needed to be told something. They knew I was pregnant and to bypass an explanation for my absence would have been cruel and insensitive to them. Plus then I would have been left to deal with questions when I returned; questions that might have been hard to answer. She also gave me a 'sample script' to be passed along to the children. Once they knew, the kids would have been compelled to say something to express their sadness for me, but often they would not know how, so a simple thing to do was to give them some words. Her suggestion was, "I'm sorry this has happened to you, Mrs. Kent". I thought that was a good idea and to my knowledge, that's what was done.

It's not only children that sometimes need a script. Want to say something? Don't know what to say?

I'm so sorry this happened to you.

That's all you need to say. That tells me that you know this is awful, you would feel awful too. That tells me that you recognize that Hayden was a person, he was loved and will be remembered. That I have a right to grieve, because he was more than a bunch of cells, a blob of tissue, a fetus.

He was my baby.

Another one won't take his place. Because people are not replaceable. My other children have made this process somewhat easier, and caused me to treasure them even more, but it's not 'ok' because I already have three.

Just a few tips, in case you were wondering.


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