Customer Reviews

Sunday, June 19, 2011

January 2008: The Day After

today is the day after my son died.  today is the second day of my life sentence.  this fucking prison of grief that has no escape.  it will never change.  my baby will never come back.  i will never see him again. 

today i find myself in a place that has no description.  to try to describe how i feel seems stupid and pointless.  everything seems pointless.  my baby is dead.  there are no other words needed, and no words could do justice to this. 

today i am forced to think about things that no one should ever have to.  today i have to face the cruel logistics of my son dying.  my parents are taking care of all the arrangements.  they brought over a map of our family cemetery.  we had to pick out our burial plots.  i'm only fucking 25 years old and i'm deciding where i want to be buried.  do i want to be directly behind my parents?  do i want to be on the end, or should my husband be on the end.  i want to be next to Charlie.  where is the best place to bury my son so that i can one day be buried next to him? 

today i have to decide if i want my son buried or cremated.  these are just fancy terms to distract you from the reality of what really happens.  do i want my precious baby's flesh to burn in fire, or do i want his body to slowly decompose in the cold ground?  i've heard horror stories of crematories just taking out any ashes and giving them to you.  in the end, we wanted our son buried.  i couldn't bear the thought of burning my baby's body.

today i had to decide how to dress my baby for his coffin.  i always thought i would be picking out his coming home outfit, and instead i'm picking out his burial outfit.  i had to go through the bag of clothes that i had washed for him in preparation for him coming home.  they were all so tiny, but when my husband and i looked at them they all would have been huge on Charlie.  we decided to just have him in a onesie and swaddled in a blanket.  nothing special.  i didn't know what else to do.

today i had to decide if i wanted anything put in Charlie's coffin with him.  we put in the ornament that we had given him for christmas that i had written his name on, and we put in the comb that my husband so meticulously used to comb his son's hair every day.

today i had to decide if i wanted an obituary for my son.  we decided no.

today i had to decide if i wanted to bury my son now while the ground is frozen, or if we wanted to wait until spring when the ground would be thawed.  we decided now. 

today i had to decide when to have my son's burial. 

today i had to decide if i wanted an autopsy on my son.  we said no.

today i had to decide if i wanted to give the gift of life to another baby.  the hospital called and apologized for the circumstances, but time was of the essence and they wanted to know if we were willing to donate a valve from Charlie's heart.  i immediately said no.  i was so shocked by the phone call.  it was the last thing i was expecting.  my first thought was of someone cutting open my baby and taking his heart out.  and when i pictured this in my mind i cringed and almost vomited.  and then i thought of someone being happy and rejoicing in my son's death because it meant that their child might have a chance at life.  i told the woman that i was very sorry but that i just couldn't do that to my son.  i couldn't have him cut open.  and now three years later, i still don't know if i made the right choice.  i think of a family being thankful that my son died and i want to die.  but i also think that if there was a way that someone could have saved Charlie and they chose not to, i would have wished them a cold miserable death.  i am sorry every day that i could not give this gift to another baby.  i am sorry that i was so selfish, but i still cannot bear the thought of my baby's lifeless body being opened.  i wish that he had had a voice and could have told me what he wanted.  i will never no if i made the right decision for him.

there is no greater tragedy than to have your child die.  but to have to make these decisions in the aftermath is nearly equally as tragic.  you make decisions that you will later regret.  you don't know what to do.  there is nothing in this world that could have prepared you for these decisions.  i wish i could have been better.  i wish my son was alive and with me.  i wish someone would bury me right along with him, because without him, i have no life left. 


  1. I put off most of those things for so long - I wasn't ready for it to be done, for it to be over, for him to be gone.

  2. I just got done reading your blog from beginning to end. Thank you so much for sharing your story- I cried through almost every post, because as a NICU mom, I have been there. I was blessed to be able to bring my son home the day before Thanksgiving this year, but have wept with too many moms that haven't been as fortunate. My heart aches for you as you grieve for Charlie and the twins-I pray you someday find some sort of peace. Please post every once in a while so that we know how you're doing...