Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My time in Utah

Last Monday I was with the Smalleys as they buried their little stillborn son, Joseph James, in the Kaysville Cemetery. When this first happened, the doctor told them they could bury him, or the hospital would take care of it for them; it was up to them. They really didn't know what to do, but in the blessing Emily received the night before she went in to deliver, she was told she would know clearly what was the best thing to do.

We went in to the hospital at 7:30 on Thursday, Aug. 21, and we were there all day as she labored, just like with all her other babies--IV in the hand and all. About noon the pain was getting very bad and she had to have an epidural. She was ready to deliver about 5:00 pm and had to push half a dozen times until the baby was born--unlike her other deliveries, it was a silent delivery room. It was some time during that awful day when it did become very clear that this too was one of her children and she needed to respect his little body and actually treat him as a full member of their family. And she knew they needed to bury him themselves and not just let the hospital "take care of it."Here is the tiny casket in the part of the cemetery for babies.When Troy called the mortuary, they said they would discount all their fees, including this little casket and they didn't charge them anything (although we saw a bill that had the usual fees of $4200 taken off).

Besides me and the Smalleys, also Joy and Don and their family came and Aaron and Marrisse and their family and Marrisse's mother and Troy's sister-in-law, Tifffany. We sang, "Families Can Be Together Forever," and Joy gave the opening prayer. Then Emily spoke and told why they decided to have this service and read this quote from Joseph Smith:

(At the funeral of 2-year-old Marian Lyon) " my leisure moments I have meditated upon the uncertainty of human life, and asked the question, why is it that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us? The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it...grows more wicked and corrupt...The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again...

"The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope.

"A question may be asked--Will mothers have their children in eternity? Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid."

After this quote, Emily showed the remembrance box that the ladies of SHARE brought to her in the hospital. This was a group of two women who had also lost babies during pregnancy and a female professional photographer that came and dressed the baby and took pictures and made up this box for her.
Inside are the receiving blanket he was wrapped in right after birth; the name card they usually put into the bassinet telling his weight (7 oz.), his length (6 1/2 inches), and his name, etc.; a hat they put on him (but was too big so they had to put on a littler one), a tiny teddy bear they wrapped up with him, a ring symbolizing eternity, and a pin showing the size of a tiny baby's feet.Here is the outside of the box. It looks like homemade paper and was very pretty.

After Emily's talk, we sang the first and fourth verses of "O My Father," then Troy dedicated the grave. We ended with "I Am a Child of God," and a closing prayer by Marrisse.

The next two pictures show the balloon launch. Emily gave all the children there (14 of them) a helium balloon and told them to fill it with their love and happy thoughts and let it go to send them all up to their brother and cousin, Joseph.

This is Andrew after the service, carrying the tiny casket back to the car that would take it to the funeral home overnight then bring it back for burial the next day.Afterwards, we all went back to the Smalley's house where the Relief Society had prepared this amazing dinner for us. Emily said, talk about feeling loved. She said she felt very good and glad they had this service; that it really seemed the right thing to do. It allowed the kids to participate and everybody to experience closure. It was a good thing she felt that way because that was also the day her milk came in and she's having to deal with that for the next few days.

As for me, I was SO grateful I could be there--for me as much as for them. As hard as it all was, the Spirit was very close during much of this time and it was very sweet.

We can get caught up in lots of distractions in this world, but something like this reminds us what is important and what really matters in this life.

1 comment:

  1. Mom, we can't thank you enough for being here through all this. Thanks for the recap for everyone else's benefit as well. Emily & Troy


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