Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Burial

When we lost our first child, Ellen Mary, I miscarried naturally at home. Through the shock, pain, and sorrow of it all, I was unable to find the body of our baby. I wanted so badly to bury her, to have that physical act of mourning and a place to visit. I had even made the arrangements with our Parish to purchase a plot and such. To this day I think about it often and regret that we never got to bury our child.

When we found out that we had once again lost a child, I knew this time I needed to bury him. I miscarried at home two days after we found out he had died and pleaded with our Blessed Mother to help me find the body. I did. I gently cleaned him and his sweet little face, then wrapped him in a pretty cloth. 

Our wonderful pastor made arrangements for the burial. I went to our local Catholic Store, where I used to work, and tried to buy a beautiful wooden box for the casket (I say tried because Colleen, my friend and former boss wouldn't let me pay for it bless her heart.) It was a baptismal keepsake box; it was perfect. I decided that I wanted to make a baby blanket to wrap him in so my dear SIL taught me how to crochet. I made him this:

It was nice to make a gift for him. In the casket we also placed these pictures which we took right after we found out I was pregnant. We were SO happy  that I wanted to remember that moment forever. It was important to bury it with Michael because from the moment we new he existed, we loved him so very much. He is part of our family.

On Christmas day we surprised our families with the good news. Dominic wore this shirt and we had so much fun listening to people's reaction when they noticed. We buried this picture too.

I wrapped the casket in a rosary and tied a ribbon around with a St. Michael/Guardian Angel medal and a Miraculous medal.

On a Saturday afternoon, we got all dressed in black and headed to the cemetery. It was cold sunny. Geoff, Dominic, and I met Fr. Lange who was wearing his beautiful black and gold vestments. Brain (who works at our Church and who was my prayer buddy during advent) was also there. Geoffrey sweetly held Dominic who rested his head on his daddy's shoulder. Brian placed the casket in the ground and Fr. lead us in the most beautiful service I have ever seen. Tears streamed down my face and I was overcome. The words were so comforting and as he spoke them, I could feel God's mercy washing over me. When the words ceased, Fr. sprinkled some Holy Water over the grave and the swervice was over. I turned to Geoffrey and buried my face into his chest. We cried together.

The next morning I woke up and for the first time in the past week and a half, I felt like I had the strength to get through the day. Though the pain of our loss would never really leave me, I felt God had healed me through our Priest and the act of burying our child. Michael Gerard, our third child. I think about him every day. I wonder what he looks like and can't wait until the day when I will finally get to take him into my arms. Until that day, I will unceasingly call upon the intercession of our little Saint.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Let It Out

I know that my child, Michael Gerard is in Heaven. I am happy for him and feel blessed to have another advocate for our family. I talk to him, think of him, and love him. But there are some things I just need to say, because they are true. They are hard for me to get out because I don't like to complain, and I believe it is so important to be positive and focus on the good, otherwise the bad will consume you. I am not "depressed", and truth be told, we are doing pretty well but I am still mourning. Maybe putting these things in writing will help me heal. I don't want sympathy, or even to be consoled. I just want to get it out.

I miss being pregnant.
I miss my baby belly.
I miss the way my husband rubs my belly, knowing he is saying hi to his tiny baby.
I miss planning my homebirth.
I miss being excited about experiencing childbirth again.
I miss Dominic running to kiss my expanding belly while saying "baby".
I miss feeling like I am the most special person in the world, because I had a growing infant, a new life, a new soul inside me.
I miss sharing our "good news."
I miss doing crazy things like drinking homemade green smoothies for the health of my baby.
I miss wondering how Dominic would be as a big brother.
I miss saying "when the baby comes".
I miss the thought that soon i'd be able to feel him move, kick, hold him, kiss his face.
I miss just being with him, feeling so close and in love with this baby i'd never even seen.
I miss thinking about all the things we would do the same, and the few things I would do different than with Dominic.
I miss wondering if he would be a good nurser, if he would like to sleep in our bed or by himself, if he would love the Moby, baths, singing, choo choos, Payton, and on and on.
I miss our baby...

But I still wonder if he looks just like his daddy.
One thing I do know is, he is perfect.
He is God's.
He is our child.
He is with his sister.
And one day, I will hug him so tight.

I am also praying God blesses us again soon.

Sweet Little One

With love for our third child, Michael Gerard.

Oh sweet little one, whom my arms long to hold
Heaven's gain is our loss.
Playing in It's fields, skipping along
with your sister hand in tow.

Just mine for a little while,
though I guess you never really were.
Made out of love with a beautiful soul
Never blemished by the world.

So perfect and innocent
So holy, our little Saint
Waiting for us to whisper your name
and pray.

Oh joy and sorrow of a precious short life
made in His image and born into light.
We call you by your name
our child we know you, though unseen.

I see your face when I close my eyes,
and hear your voice in my heart.
Together one day, we'll eternally be
and our family, finally complete.

So perfect and innocent
So holy, our little Saint
Waiting for us to whisper your name
and pray.