Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Why I make bereavement items

I wrote the following this morning on another board where members are having difficulty overcoming their emotions regarding making bereavement items. Those of you that know me or have read my blog for a while know my motivation. But in case any of you out there might be struggling, here's why I do it....

Bereavement items are usually kept or the baby is buried with them. Particularly with micro-preemies, the only thing available for the baby to wear would be what has been handmade. You just can't run to the store (besides who would want to shop for burial clothing at a time like that) and find something to fit. Many also keep the items as one of the few tangible remembrances of a life that was so precious yet so brief.

In our case, we did not get to keep the gown that Emma wore. ((youcan see a picture of her in it at www.emmazinggracefoundation.org)) It's really a horrible story that I don't mind sharing, but will upset many so I won't. My Mom and I went to Strausburg and bought a doll gown that was smocked in pink roses right after Emma died. MyMom had brought both of her older granddaughter's smocked Strausburg dresses to wear home from the hospital so she wanted Emma to havethe same. I remember standing in the store, basically unable to function, trying to find some socks. The lady asked me why I wanted them and I couldn't speak. It was very difficult to do and I think of trying to limit that pain for other parents when I makeb ereavement items.

For me, having buried a daughter, making a bereavement gown is nothing compared to the pain I felt on 9-10-05 and the weeks and months since. Each time I make one, I feel like I'm allowing Emma to live on through me. I'm allowing her to touch the lives of others.

Emma was given a Threads of Love sock doll, 2 hats, and somebooties. They are framed, along with a tiny diaper and isolette name sign, in a memory box. I have several friends that had preemies that made it. Their remembrances from the NICU days are very special treasures. They remind them of just how tiny their miracle was and just how far they've come. I am not shy about talking about my daughter. It helps me greatly. I love acknowledging her life and I'm certain that many bereaved parents feel the same way. Thank you for allowing me to share her with you (and others that are reading). Hugs!


Wool Winder said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to know how the kindness of making a bereavement item makes at least one part of the grieving process easier to deal with.

Marcia said...

Candy, thank you. Reading your post reminded me of shopping for a hand print mold the night before Lucy was to die. It was very hard to do, but if my sister had asked me to drive to the moon that night I would have done it - for her and for Lucy. The girl working at the shop was rude and impatient. I had in mind to tell her what the mold was to be used for and why it was so important tonight! I couldn't make myself say it though, but when I returned to the hospital I broke down crying in the elevator.

Anyway, you make such beautiful things. God bless you for it too.