I have talked to two women this week who experienced stillbirths. And although our experiences are different we still suffered the same loss of our babies. I think the most common fear we share is that we are afraid people will forget our children. My family is pretty close so I know that my immediate family members will always remember Boone. It has only been 5 weeks since he passed but already I can see everyone moving on. My dad doesn't ask me how I am doing anymore. My in-laws don't bring it up when we are around. I went back to work and not a single person brought it up. The only person who really talks about our experience is my mom. I am lucky in a sense that her and my dad experienced the loss of their twins when they were born at 28 week so my mom gets it.
I know that co-workers and friends don't bring it up mostly because they don't know what to say or they don't want to upset me. In my conversation with these other mom's that have children in heaven, we agreed that we would love it if people simply asked how are you doing and then allow us to decide how much we want to reveal. As hard as it is to talk about our loss its even harder thinking that people have forgotten that I have lost a child.
we don't have an official gravesite for Boone because we chose to cremate him. For now he is in our home with us, and that feels right. We are having a brick made in his memory that will be put in our church's prayer garden. So when we do want a place to reflect we can go there. Because I don't want our son to be forgotten I want something in our home to remember him.The NICU nurses made precious keepsakes while we were there. One was a christmas ornament with his hand print. We actually got a lot of ornaments since he passed close to Christmas. The ornaments are great but we will only see them once a year. I don't know that I want to put a photo up in our house. I found someone on etsy who will sketch photos without faces. I thought this might be a way to have our family drawn together without the sadness. Again, I am not sure if I am ready for it.
So for now I am looking for suggestions. What are some things you all have done to remember your child? Something you can look at that bring you peace or happiness when you see it?
I love the way you spell your name. I have a thing for y's in names:) I hope this site is helping you to navigate this loss journey. I had a son born sleeping at 30 weeks almost 9 years ago now. I can tell you that he's still the first person I think about in the morning and the last person I think about at night. I still have my own triggers and it is still very painful. When I unravel, I have quicker recovery. I think that is what the time has done for me.
I love the ornament you shared! It is a treasure! I get what you mean about what to do when the holiday stuff gets packed away. We have our son's ashes at home as well. I do keep a picture of him on my dresser in my bedroom. I used to have it out in our great room early on, but a comment from a family member made me feel uneasy and it has stayed with me. My family was/is not supportive of our feelings then or now. The empathy was very brief. They could not or were/are unwilling to understand, so they moved on quickly. So, I had to find ways to keep our son's memory present. I ordered a memory necklace for myself and a bracelet for my husband. We used to wear them all of the time, but now we wear them when we feel we need to. I have his hand print, so I had an artist transfer that to a ceramic tile.
Six weeks after our loss, we signed up for our first March for Babies walk. Each year, we walk and raise a little money with various fundraisers. I felt the need to physically do something and it helped to put some of my energy into that. I made a photo album of the pictures we did have: ultrasounds, hospital, and walk pics. I found this site and spent a great amount of time here just trying to cope and hope. Over the years, we've tried to have fun with the fundraising. I have done Purses for Preemies at a bag consignment shoppe, Sweeties for Preemies and Pops for Preemies with See's candy, Scentsy Candles (because helping babies makes Scents), Lego Batman minifigures (because prematurity is no joke(r)), etc. You get the idea. Lots of ways to play with the words baby or preemie with fundraising efforts. Many more ideas can be found here with much more experienced and veteran teams than my own.
I've donated items. One year, I collected a bunch of Beanie Babies and donated them to a non-profit who cleans them up and donates them to babies in the NICU. My first son spent time in two of them after he was born. If you browse through some of the blogs, you'll find a lot of really neat and sweet ideas. I guess really what I am saying is, do what you feel is right. Know that it might change and that is so okay. Know it is okay not to do anything and just be and feel. I never had a nickname for our son while he was growing inside, but some moms associate their angel with something like butterflies, an animal, a place, or food. There is no right or wrong way to do this journey. You just feel, maybe do, and go. Infant Loss Remembrance is in October. There might be a MFB walk in your area coming up. Just things I am thinking about right now.
One thing we have started to do over the last few years is to travel or go somewhere near or on our son's angelversary. We hope to keep up with the tradition. This year, we are headed out-of-state to see a famous ventriloquist. It is the money we would have spent on a party, gifts, and all of that. It is hard, but I want to look back on the years and remember something positive. I know I have overshared. I am definitely lengthy Lindsay here. I am so aware of it as I usually do not see another adult until very late in the day.
Hope this helps and that you find your way(s) in honoring Boone.
I do have pictures of Josie up, but I keep them in my bedroom so its not a conversation piece with anyone who isn't a close friend. I did something with my grandma's ashes that I wish I could have done with Josie's, but she wasn't cremated. There is a website, that will take a tiny amount of ashes, a tablespoon or so, and turn them into glass. They have a variety of options you can choose from, including items you can simply have on a shelf or table as a knick knack or smaller glass pieces you can wear as a charm. I chose the necklace charm and put it in my bouquet at my wedding. If you search "memory glass" you should be able to find something. There are also lockets and rings and bracelets you can place ashes in so they are always with you, yet discreet no one would think anything of it if you didn't disclose it.
I also plant a butterfly garden with wildflowers every year outside, its a tradition I have with my daughter. A few years ago, my mom got me a "Josie's lilac" bush to plant outside, and whenever I'm out in the garden I think of my precious baby.
I hope the information is helpful.
Love and Hugs
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I have a daughter who was premature. I can relate to how hard it is seeing your precious little one connected to all of those tubes. She made it through and is 6 now. However, I recently lost my little Silas just before Christmas. He was full term and healthy as he could be. But sometimes, our babies are just so terrifically perfect that God needs them back. Unfortunately for us, we're left here alone grieving the incredible loss. Silas was almost three months old and I never expected to lose him. I'm still asking myself why this happened, but at some point I will have to accept the unknown, for one day I'll get the answer and so will you. For some, death isn't an easy topic to speak about. Our children aren't suppose to go before us and most people can't relate. That's probably why your co-workers don't bring him up. They don't know what to say. But the truth is, there really isn't anything they can say. The best thing I can come up with is that they can at least let you know that they're there for you. But to some, that may not seem like enough. Everyone is looking for the perfect thing to say to you, but it won't come. Try to recognize that they can't relate.
For me personally, I have photos of Silas EVERYWHERE. My house looks like a shrine. His room is untouched. I'm not sure how long I'll keep it that way and I have no intentions of changing it. My grief is very much still present as I'm certain yours is as well. But, I find comfort in praying in his room. I tell God to give him a hug and kiss for me everyday and tell him how much mommy loves him and misses him. I know he's safe in God's arms and I can't ask for any more than that. I'll be praying for you. Thank you for sharing.
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