This was the next hurdle, a day I was dreading. You use everything you have left in you to get through having him and then saying goodbye and then you remember we have this to do next. These couple of weeks were relentless, I felt a shadow of my former self, just slowly crumbling away more and more into this dream world were you just wish you could wake up.
A day no parent ever wants or imagine will happen to them.
Over the days before we had visits from undertakers asking us how we would like our son to be put to rest.
Funeral or to be cremated and to be honest the thought of both horrified me.
This beautiful little boy, his perfect body and I don’t want him to have to do either of those.This urge of just wanting to keep him, just hold him so he doesn’t have to endure either of those.
This was something I just wasn’t ready for.
The undertaker sat us down and went through all the pros and cons of both being buried and cremated. I kind of just remember zoning out, you know those moments when someone is talking for ages but you are not there in the room, you just here their voice in the background. You are thinking in your head, am I really here, is this really happening.
After he had left we decided t to go see a crematorium and the moment we got there it wasn’t right, it was just like this impersonal merry go round of funerals coming and going. It just didn’t seem right, it almost seemed to harsh for our son.
We then went to see a burial place In the woods. We turned up at this place and the lovely lady drove us around on a golf buggy, showing us all these possible plots. All the babies are buried together around the same part, as a way of them being able to be together and I was taken back by the amount of babies that where berried in these woods. As we drove around, we just knew this was it, this was the place. I had visions of us coming back year after year with our family and going on nice walks to see him then walking around the woods. He’s among nature, when you come to this place you don’t feel like you are in a graveyard, it’s peaceful there are deer and other wildlife around. Its not such a harsh looking environment.
So we decided thats the place for him and that we would wan him burried, I couldn’t sit in a crematorium and watch his little body go behind those curtains.
The undertaker asked me ” would you like to carry the coffin?”
I replied ” would someone be helping me?”
To which his reply was “it will only be big enough for one person to carry”
At that point I had the biggest lump in my throat and I just wasn’t sure if I would be capable of doing it, just big enough for me alone another reminder of how his tiny body shouldn’t be going through this I don’t think I want all those eyes on me, what if I break down with it in my arms.
I said “no, can you just do it”
A day I never thought would happen to me…
We asked everyone not to wear black, that is not the scene we wanted to set.
I paced up and down all morning not able to sit still, if I sat down my foot would be going at 100 miles an hour. The drive over, I was just in my own head trying to get my head around what we was about to do, going over in my head about the coffin non stop.
In a weird way I didn’t want the day to end because thats it….that’s final. He’s gone and there is no going back. I didn’t want him to go, I wanted him to stay with us forever. Even now as I write this I’m sitting in a busy coffee shop with my eyes welling up as I relive this experience, I still want him, I still have so many regrets about my time with him.I wish I had held him and never put him down, I wish I never slept the night in the hospital and just sat up all night watching him. Life has become some what normal again so writing this and reliving this, is tough.
We arrived at the woods for his funeral, lots of family there waiting to greet us. It was all a little overwhelming, I don’t really like being the centre of attention in a room, thats just not me. Everybody entered the service room, the music started to play and thats when I was just like “this is it, its real”
I hung back and let everyone go in and said to the undertaker “I want to do it”
I held my arms out and he placed Henry on top. All I could think is I can’t see my feet, I don’t want to trip, oh god what if I fall! I just looked straight ahead the whole time as I walked down the middle of the isle, I really didn’t want to lock eyes with anyone, because it would break my heart seeing people grieve for my son. I don’t think I looked a single person in the eye the whole time from start to finish, I just looked down. Even around his grave I couldn’t bare to look up.
I hadn’t even thought about this until now….
As we stood over the smallest hole in the ground, literally you wouldn’t even be able to sit down in it, it was so small. I held Katie tight, I think it was even possible I was holding her up, I honestly think if I had let go she would have fallen. I just thought to myself the whole time while the vicar said his words. My baby boy is in that box, that boy with the black hair, perfect button nose and little finger and toes, is in there and I’ll never ever see him again. I could live another 70 years and never see, feel, touch or smell him again.
I hadn’t even thought about this until now, my beautiful boy, his body is going to be in that ground and over time, he’s going to disappear and he’s going to be all alone in the woods every night when it get’s dark and over time his body wont even be there. Its just been left to disintegrate…. in the woods…. in the dark…. alone.
That thought continued and still does continue to haunt me every time I go back and see him, the first 1,2,3,4 months after I found no comfort in going back there purely because every time I looked at his grave I just had those images in my head. I dreamt about it for months afterwards, I felt like a terrible parent for doing that to him. I just wanted to lay down next to him the whole time so he wouldn’t be alone, I felt guilty being at home and he’s there.
It took me a long time to get over that, I stopped going for a while because of those thoughts and Katie would say “you never want to go see him”
It’s not because I don’t want to, its because I cant deal with the guilt and pain of seeing him there.
But, gradually over time and its now over a year later, I do like going there. we walk up there as a family and Arthur takes his bike, he whizzes up and down the pathways, he actually has pure joy on his face to go and see his brother. He shouts “yay” when we say we are going to see him and to me thats why I know we picked the right place, this was exactly what I had invisiged in my head it would be like. we go up there and Arthur, tells Henry whats been happening
“I got a certificate at school today Henry for good handwriting”
“I started swimming lessons, you would love swimming lessons Henry”
Its amazing how he can build this relationship with someone he has never ever met before.
a relationship like….well… like a brother!
That is the next hurdle, now on to the next one…..
What life is there after this?????
To be continued……..