Friday, April 18, 2008

Turned Away

On the Thursday that Zachary died, I was released from the hospital. The nurses let me wait to vacate the room until I could hand his body off to the funeral home director myself. It was the middle of the day before he could come, and as I handed him our baby, I wondered how he would get his body back to the funeral home. There would be no casket, and he was far too small for a body bag. I still wonder how he was trasnported.

After the trauma of the birth and all the attempts at salvation, I could hardly bear to walk, but I refused to be wheeled out. James was in front of me pushing a cart that overflowed with flowers and lovely tokens of wishing well. I followed behind with a box of memories. As we passed the nurses station, the constant chatter quieted down, and not one eye glanced in our direction.

Around the corner was a bank of elevators tucked inside a little nook. As the cart rounded the corner, some new grandmother squealed, "Ooo, it looks like someone else had a baby!" Her hands were clutched under her chin, and her smile was wide, gaping. In an instant, understanding took over, her face contorted, and she quickly turned her whole body away from me -- as if whatever killed my baby would infect her own.

The sun was incredibly bright that day. Brighter than I'd ever seen it before.

I came home, and swept the kitchen.

8 comments:

  • Amy

    Remembering with you. Every moment today, you have been in my thoughts.

  • Happy Mommy

    I am so sorry, Amanda... I am praying for you and James today. I am just so sorry.

  • taralynn819

    We fail as human beings. We fail to say and do what is truly in our hearts. We shy away and shrink back. We take concern to what people think of us too much to take a risk and offer whatever it is we feel urged to give but don't.

    "What if it's the wrong thing? What if they take it the wrong way? What if I don't have any words? What if they want to grieve alone and in private and I'm just intruding? What if they don't care whether I care or not?"

    We fail at loving each other in tangible ways, and in our guilt we pretend we don't notice.

    But I would venture to say that everyone who turned away from you in your time of need still hurt deeply with you and probably prayed for you in that moment.

    Sorrow is such a sticky issue because everyone "deals" with it so differently that we just want to be sure we're speaking the individual's "grief language", if you will. When in reality, I think showing we care whichever way we know how is all that is really needed. We often turn something God designed to work so naturally into something all too complicated.

    We just.....care.

  • Randi

    Thinking of you, sweet friend. I wish there was something that could ease the ache.

  • Elizabeth

    Praying without ceasing. You are loved.

  • Emily

    I wish there were "right words", all I know to say is I am so so sorry and that I will pray for you and James. I cannot truly know what you are feeling, but I know that it is a deeper hurt than anyone should have to go through.

  • niobe

    It does seem sometimes that people fear that our losses are contagious, avoiding all contact with us so they won't "catch" our bad luck.

  • Frugal Finds

    I am so sorry to learn about your loss. I think most times people are good hearted and mean well but are afraid they will say the wrong thing or just do not know what to say at all. I do not want to pretend I understand what you are going through but I know it must be very tough.
    I know when I had a newborn baby that was very sick and in the ICU facing very serious surgeries, I found that most people do not even congratulate you. I felt the same way you did, they think what your child has is contagious and are afraid they will get it too.
    Please know, my heart goes out to you. Go hug those 2 happy healthy children!!
    Frugal Carol

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