Monday, August 13, 2012

Funeral & the aftermath - part 3

Friday,         03 August - I found out via ultrasound at 19 weeks that Seth had died at 16 weeks.
Monday,      06 August - I finished off all the arrangements I could prior to delivery
Tuesday,      07 August - Seth Micah Harvey was born
Wednesday, 08 August - D&C, released from the hospital
Friday,        10 August - Seth's graveside service
Saturday,    11 August - sat in bed recovering and crying all day
Sunday,      12 August - went to see family, realized I can't be with people for long before breaking down.

Friday was the funeral.  It was a very small but sweet service.  Brother Smith conducted since our Bishop was out of town.  I looked over the blogs of all of my loss-mama friends but didn't see a "program" so I thought I should share mine in case anyone needed an example later on down the road.

Opening Prayer...............Kathryn Harvey (Ben's sister)
Opening Remarks...........McKay Smith (bishopric)
Name & Blessing............Ben Harvey (didn't know this was an option, but it's a name known in the  records of our family, not on the records of the church, since he never took a breath)
Poem...............................Lee-Ann Luke (mother of a loss-mama friend)
Dedication of Grave.......Jerom Becar (bishopric)
Song................................I Am A Child of God (I don't recommend this song, I don't get to lead and guide and walk beside to help him find his way)
Closing Prayer................Denise Curtis (friend)

After talking to other loss-mamas, it seems most people have grandmothers of the child(ren) speak but my mom is out of state and Ben's parents were out of town that weekend.  Some people sing songs, others don't.  I thought the poem was appropriate and helped make it feel more like a funeral than a gathering to watch a burial.  The Name & Blessing isn't needed, but it was an amazing blessing and it made me feel better that it was done.  For LDS families like ours, you don't HAVE to dedicate the grave, you can say a little graveside prayer instead if you have people attending that don't understand our faith.  Everyone there was LDS and I preferred the Dedication.
Kimberly (a dear loss-mama friend) and Melissa
Ashley & Jerom Becar

Tiny little 12" casket

with Lee-Ann Luke, who read the poem
with Denise, my amazing friend who was with me through it all
Angel Garden is the infant section of the Provo Cemetery.

as people left, I sat trying to prepare for Seth to be put into the ground
Ben let me hide my face for a while.
In the ground.
Good bye, sweet Angel boy.
The service was supposed to begin at 1pm, but Seth and his tiny casket didn't even arrive until just after 1pm.  I was a bit disgruntled about that, of course.  Then, even though Ben had asked them that morning if they were bringing a table and table cloth, they didn't bring either.  Once everyone gathered around for it to begin though, I no longer had room in my emotions for being upset about these things.  Someone asked if I wanted a picture holding or touching the casket, but I couldn't do it.  I asked them to take a picture of Seth inside his casket for me, since they said he was further discolored now (Ben said he looked about the same though), so they asked if I wanted to see him inside his casket.  I couldn't do it.  To see him or even touch the casket would mean having to give him up again.  And I couldn't give him up again.  Once was enough.  I shook and shook and tears just poured.  I do want to see the picture of Seth in his casket though.  I just couldn't do it then.  

Since the funeral, I think most people think that's the end and now it's time to get back to normal.  Except, what is normal?  Of 6 pregnancies, 5 have names, I have pictures of 4, and I only get to hold 3.  I am a mother to Keith, (baby 2), Mitchell, Kiersten, Taylor, and Seth.  Only Keith, Mitchell, and Kiersten are in my home.  What is NORMAL when you only get to mother half of your children?  I'm still healing, and I suffered the consequences of being overly active the day of the funeral, so I'm still not allowed to pick up Kiersten to climb the stairs often, or even stand in the kitchen to wash dishes or cook food.  I can't care for the children living in my home.  How is anything supposed to be normal.  It's almost like, "okay, burial is closure to the whole entire topic, it's time to move on and forget about it now."  Not that anyone has said that, but it feels like that's the expectation now.  

I tried to go out Sunday to see family that was in town after another funeral.  After a couple hours, I tried to leave the room to use the bathroom, but grief overcame me and I nearly collapsed in the bathroom from the overwhelming grief.  I wanted to leave, but Ben grieves differently and wanted to stay with his family, so I went to the car for nearly an hour while I allowed the grief to pour out and then tried to use makeup to whiten myself up again.  With a house full of kids (13 of them), I didn't want to let my sadness hurt them.  I'm glad I didn't try to go to church.  The sadness on people's faces weighs me down, but seeing carefree faces hurts too.  I know, catch-22, right?  I should say now:  I am not angry about anyone else's happiness, not upset that anyone else is pregnant, I may be a tad jealous of healthy, happy babies and pregnancies, but I am still not upset about anyone else being happy or pregnant.  Got it?  I am happy for you, just sad for me.  Promise.  

I'm going to do a part 3b with the poem read at the funeral, and two that I would have read if I'd had a voice.

1 comment:

Mel said...

My friend, I am so sorry that you feel expected to just move on. Funerals bring parts of closure, but in my opinion, these things aren't ever really "closed". We move through things not over them. Some days will be harder than others, but your normal is different now. Please go at your pace, please keep writing, and please know how many people love an support you. You are a good mom, and all of your dear children are yours, even if they can't all be with you right now.