“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens”

-Kahlil Gibran

If you are easily disturbed by things related to death, please do not continue to read this blog entry. What I am going to write involves the trauma we have suffered in trying to get our baby to his final resting place, and some may find it upsetting.

On Wednesday the 16th of June, Dustin and I attended our first session of a local support group made up of parents who have lost babies. This includes parents who has suffered a stillbirth, miscarriage or as in our case, neonatal death. We found the group to be extremely helpful and it was relieving to be around other people who know exactly how you feel. It was also very educational, because at this meeting we met people whose babies were smaller than our Jack, and who were able to get their babies ashes after cremation. This astounded us, because we had been told all along that there would simply be nothing left of our baby. ( That was why we chose to donate him to Wayne State and also because we couldn’t afford anything better). The group in general was astounded that we had been told this and encouraged us to check into whether or not we could get our babies remains. So we did.

It turns out, the doctor had STILL not signed Jack’s death certificate. So he has been at Hutzel Hospital in the morgue all of this time. Here we thought he had been taken care of by now and come to find out, absolutely nothing had been done. Dustin spent the better part of Thursday the 17th on the phone with Hutzel hospital demanding that the doctor finish our babies paperwork and death certificate. He also called a local funeral home and as it turns out, they indeed can give us his ashes.

What they don’t tell you in the hospital, when you are trying to make these important decisions, is that when you donate your baby to Wayne State,  they don’t cremate your baby until April. And when they do cremate your baby, it isn’t just your baby, but all of the babies from that year– together. That is why you can’t have your child’s ashes.

Now had someone explained this to me in the hospital, I would have at the moment made a different decision. We wouldn’t have had to go through all of this just to find out the truth. No one should have lied to us and said “oh there is just nothing left”. It is total BULLSHIT. And it pisses me off.

There should be rules about what people in shock are asked to decide. You should be given at least a day or two before you have to make funeral arrangements so you can at least think about things and investigate your options. It turns out, there are even non-profit organizations that will help you pay for your babies services if you need them. Had I known that, I would have had an actual viewing for Jack. I could fill this page with what I would have done differently but I digress.

So now, the good people at Howe Peterson Funeral Home in Taylor are helping us out. They are going to go pick up Jack and they will cremate him for us and all we have to do is pay for the permit. Tomorrow morning (Friday the 18th) we will go and fill out that paperwork. Then we will get to bring our baby home within the next few days (preferably, not father’s day…).

My advice to anyone that is reading this is, basically, if someone is ever going through something like this, do not rush them. Your mind changes over time and you realize what you really want eventually. Investigate your options or ask someone to do it for you. Do not be bullied into something you may regret. I am so grateful to the people at our group for telling us to fight for Jack. Now we can choose where we want him to rest, whether it be at home for a while with us or somewhere else.

 

~E

 

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