In hind sight, this was one of those days where I should have stayed in my home bubble.
Doug went back to work today. #1 reason to be sad. It’s been so wonderful having him around everyday. The odd part about Owen’s death? Doug and I feel more connected these days. There is understanding of each person’s differences in grieving. For those of you that know us personally, Doug and I have trouble agreeing on most things 🙂 We are polar opposites. We took months to pick out a bedspread … but this? We are totally united. It’s been a huge reminder of how much we love each other.
Jaden had several breakdowns today. I decided around 1pm that it was time to get out of the house for a bit. We went to the library to sign up for the summer reading program. We played some computer games and checked out some books. While Jaden was distracted, I asked the librarian if she had any suggestions on picture books for children dealing with death. She gave me an entire pamphlet.
Wow … lots of children have to deal with death. Totally not fair. Sign #2? Every book that I found appropriate was checked out. Bummer. The only ones left were about grandma or grandpa passing. While those books certianly make more sense when considering the circle of life, I thought it would just confuse Jaden more.
After the library we made a pit stop to get some flowers. I had an itch to plant some orange flowers. Jaden and I picked out some orange marigolds and orange Spanish Sunflowers. Can’t wait for the little buds of life to poke through the soil. Just another reminder of how life continues to be born from Owen’s death. Can’t wait to post the pictures too!
This past weekend we got a phone call from the funeral home. Doug and I painted an urn for Owen at Touch of Glaze. It was bright orange (of course) with a crested lion on the back. I explained to the lady how it was a one of a kind and Doug and I had made it for him special. She promised she would take good care of it. Wouldn’t you know … she dropped the lid! When she was telling me this on the phone I was so pissed! But then I thought … it’s only material. It’s something of this world and it doesn’t matter in the big picture. To be honest, if she hadn’t cracked it, I would have in 10 years and probably had a mental breakdown.
She said she would find another temporary lid for when we came to pick him up on Monday (today). Mom offered to go with me since Doug was at work. We packed up the babies in this hot humid weather, cranked the AC in the minivan and headed out.
I knew something was a little off when I was greeted by the same lady who I had spoken with before and she replied “Oh, I thought you came this weekend to pick Owen up.” She said she had to call someone to check on something. They were talking in broken sentances but it was clear that the lady on the other end of the phone didn’t have the answers.
When she hung up, I asked “Does that mean Owen isn’t here?” She replied “I have to make another call.” Reason #3 … the funeral home wasn’t sure where my child was. Unbelievable. She assured me that he wasn’t lost and that there must have been a miscommunication.
Mind boggling part? I was just as panicked about where Owen’s ashes were as I would have been if he were a warm, breathing, living child. As a mother, my job to always know where my baby is hasn’t stopped. He was declared brain dead, no longer in there. What did I do? Begged the nurse to keep him company during the night and make sure he wasn’t alone. I found relief when I got a call saying that he made it to the Medical Examiner’s safely and relieved to hear he was finally at the funeral home. I found peace in knowing he … or his body … was safe.
It didn’t help that my entire experience with this funeral home has been a disaster! The first woman I met was cold and talked WAY too much. Justifying everything. Direct quote from the death professional: I know exactly how you feel. I expect this from friends and family. I know people have the best of intentions and say silly things. But she’s a professional. I expected more. We were given a hard time about wanting to hang some flowers from the casket. Then the one of a kind urn was broken. And now they ‘misplaced’ my child’s ashes. I was so done by this point.
Those few short minutes felt like hours. My anger and panic were intense. Thank goodness I didn’t go alone! My mom saw how upset I was, came out of the car to rescue me. When she got back in the car I asked her if they had found him yet. She said he was just getting a little joy ride. Ashes are usually picked up at a different location, however they had made an exception for me. Someone wasn’t aware and thought they were taking Owen where he was supposed to be.
In my gut I was ticked … I didn’t give Joe-Shmoe from the funeral home permission to have my son in the car! He should have asked his mother first. Again, just as if Owen was still alive. I felt betrayed by the funeral home. My mmind racing … was it really Owen’s ashes in there? Maybe they spilled his ashes and were buying time to replace them with ashes from a bonfire. Was that really Owen in there?
It’s so perplexing the feelings that surge through me at times. One moment I feel loss and longing to hold him just one more time. The next, my motherly instinct is still fully intact for a child that isn’t in the world anymore. While your baby might leave you … motherly feelings do not. I wonder if I’ll still feel motherly towards him when he’s been gone longer than he was on earth. 7 months from now will it feel different? Or maybe 25 months from now (to include the pregnancy)?
The answer again? Time. Time will tell.