Saturday was a very difficult day. I know they call it a "life celebration" and we are so very very blessed for having our boy, but it still felt so very sad. So many wonderful friends, family, and nurses came to celebrate Jack's life and I will forever appreciate and treasure those beautiful names in his guest book. There are some who couldn't come and some other angel patents who have asked about planning their own and so I thought I would share the specific events of our memorial...
Order of Worship:
-Piano Hymns - played by my husband's brother with slide show scrolling jack photos as people walked in
-Opened with a Vocal: 'In Hope- Chapman' - sang by a close friend of ours
-Call to worship and prayer from our dear pastor
-Old Testament Lesson: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14 read by my sister
-New Testament Lesson: 2Corinthians 4 taught by my brother
-Grandparent Reflections: each of our parents shared thoughts or prayers about their sweet grandson
-One More Day song
-I read the children's book 'On the Night You Were Born' because I had read that to Jack a few times and it was our special book to him
-My husband spoke of thanks for our support as well as spoke on his son's strength and spirit
-Video Slideshow with 'VanMorrison's Brand New Day' that our photographers assembled of pictures of Jack
-The word of promise and hope from our pastor
- A triumphant feeling piano piece that my husband's brother played
- benediction from pastor
- receiving line to hug on momma and daddy while music and pictures of jack played
- cookies and coffee to follow
Specific Moments Looking Back:
-HOSPITAL STAFF: There were a handful of nurses that came to the service. This made me cry more than anything. When I see them I feel Jack. I think of Jack. I remember Jack. They were our lifetime with him. They were part of his story. They delivered him. They held him. They helped him. They loved on him (and us!). And they were also there when he grew his wings. God sent them to us. I know it.
Before we knew we were delivering at a new hospital, where Jack would be treated as a patient, I had prepared a letter for my nurses in the event of a still birth or very short life. The discrimination our first hospital gave us made me feel the need in my letter to beg the nurses for kindness, respect, and to treat us like any other family because they were in the presence of God. God thru his angel. HOWEVER, once we switched to the Children's Hospital I knew that letter was no longer needed. I knew our nurses would treat Jack with respect even though he was different. I remember our first ultrasound at our new hospital - the sonographer talked baby talk to the screen and said hello to our sweet boy and smiled at the cute things he would do. She didn't ignore or not document his special needs, but she didn't speak only of his differences. She treated him like the sweet babe he was. I adore that staff. That staff made our four days what it was. They made it beautiful. God shined His spirit down on that place so that we may see His blessings while we felt the pain. We were allowed to be as happy as we were sad. I have a vision and a mission to give back to that unit in memory of Jack and in honor of the staff. God hasn't placed the specifics in our hearts yet, but we know it'll come.
-RECEIVING LINE: So many times in my grieving I have wanted to hide in a hole to feel safe and I was worried having a receiving line would be too much for me to bare. However, it did not feel that way at all. Quite the opposite. All those hugs and tears made me so proud of my boy and my family and friends. I encourage others to consider an open service or even open grieving. (Such a this.) The response and support can be such a comfort during an empty time.
Picking Up 'Jack' From the Funeral Home:
This is not a topic Im comfortable talking in detail about yet. Id love other angel mommies to feel free to reach out to me if they need to discuss this with someone. I CAN say the urn was beautiful and my husband and I went together. I held the urn upon my lap. It was horrid and emotional. Not how any parents should have to take their baby home. Many more feelings that I may or may not decide to confront. (Friend Warning: I do not want to discuss this is person.) My heart is with any other parent that has had to do this.
We have a wonderful Neo that has answered so many questions and shared so much of his time with us and we really appreciate that. We value his thoughts and opinions. I got an email from him confirming the post birth chromosome test results for Jack's Full Trisomy 13 and he added a note to say that Jack's blood type came back as B-POSITIVE and that perhaps that was a nice message about Jack. ;)
What to expect from my future blogs??
Oh I don't know... Im sure there will be a fair share of grieving details and remembered Jack moments, mixed in with moments about my older two kids. Id also like to start praying about how God wants me to honor Jack's memory with a project or mission. Id love for you to keep reading and commenting and sharing your life with me as well. xxxxx