Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dressing My Son

January 29, 2011
It was a beautiful day today, very unlikely January weather. Sunny, 63 degrees. At 1:00pm, my sweet family met me at the funeral home. Mom, Dad, Summer, and Autumn all met me to assist me in the honor of dressing my beautiful son for his burial.
I had originally purchased a dupioni silk romper and cap for his burial clothes, but newborn sizes were just too large for his little body. Luckily, our perinatal nurse had given us a beautiful gift. The Palmetto Pleaters of Greenville, SC, made Charles Patrick a white gown with blue smocking. The bottom edge was lined with baby blue ribbon and his initials were embroidered on the front. It was the perfect size for my sweet baby boy. I'm so thankful for that gift. Had it not been so thoughtfully made, I don't know what I would have done.
We walked into the funeral home and I was so very nervous. I'd cried on the phone with my sister, Summer, all morning already because I was afraid to do this. On the day he was born, Charles Patrick's skin was so delicate. It is now two days later. Horrifying thoughts swarmed my head that are too upsetting to speak aloud. I was afraid, but this was something I wanted to do. To dress a loved one for their burial is a blessing and an honor, I know the Lord will be pleased with me if I do this. I know I will be pleased with myself if I do this.
I said a lot of prayers that morning. Prayers of strength. We go into his little room and I see my sweet baby lying on the table.
Pure joy every time I see him. Oh I love him so much. He is the most perfect thing I have ever seen. They had his skin wrapped in white cloth, and immediately all the scariness and nervousness went away. Thank you, Heavenly Father. 
The beautiful gown was a perfect fit. His newborn sized socks were a perfect fit on his big ole feet! When he was born, the hospital gave us a hand knitted cap and blanket. The baby blue cap was a perfect match for the gown. I also placed little white mittens on his hands. He was so beautiful. 
I felt so very proud of my son. He's been so strong and he did everything right. I was the one who felt so helpless. I was just so sorry. A mother should be able to help their baby! I wished so badly that there was something I could do to help him, or could've done. He still looked so beautiful laying there. My dad took a few pictures just to capture a few moments for me to remember. We all cried together. Before we left, we cut a tiny lock of hair to keep in his box of memories. 
Saying good-bye is never easy. It is so hard to just walk away from my baby boy. The only comfort at this moment is that I will see him again tomorrow. But what about after that? Saying good-bye is already excruciating, what about that last time? My stomach hurts to think about it. I just want to fast forward time to the point when I feel better. Anxiety, heartache, sadness, they just overwhelm me right now. 
As I walked out of the funeral home, once again I was enveloped by the sun and its warmth. We've had such an extreme winter. Only three weeks ago, we had a snow and ice storm that kept us out of school for an entire week. Now the sun is shining and the weather is beautiful. I spend the remainder of the day preparing for tomorrow. We've got a big day ahead of us. 


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