Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And Then They Came Home From My Son's Funeral

I heard the front door downstairs open.  People were pouring in the house after the funeral.  I wanted to see James so he could explain why I was left behind.  I also wanted to know every single detail about the funeral down to the very smallest tiniest thing that went on.  My family began coming up to my room, sister by sister and also my brother with their own families.  They were all very comforting and loving to me.  The first to see me was my twin sister.  She wanted to know why I didn't come to the funeral even though my family had been told my MIL's reasonings.  My twin just thought I would fight to be there.  She didn't know nor did anyone in my family know that I didn't know what was going on until after the fact.  My twin was furious!  My whole family was when they found out.  They just did their best to comfort me because there was no changing now what had been done. I would have to live with not attending my son's funeral for the rest of my life.  That was 37 years ago.  I still struggle with it at the age of 62.  I was 24 when my son died. My daddy came into my room, put his arms around me and just cried.  I had never seen my daddy cry like that.  We both cried together.  My mother walked in as daddy and I were crying.  She didn't like what she saw.  She didn't think we should be crying like that and said so.  What was up with the two women I depended upon most?  My MIL was acting unlike herself and now my mama!  I would have thought the two of them would have understood most of all!  It was like my son's death had cramped their life!  Mama did beg me to come home to Washington with her and daddy so she could care for me.  I was once again torn.  I did want to go back home with them, get in my bed there, let my mama take care of me.  I wanted to see my friends back home in Washington, my neighbors there, church friends, school friends and their mama's plus my sisters were there!  It would have been such a comfort, but I couldn't do it.  I think that was why mama was so upset.  I just could not leave my baby or James and go to another town away from them.  Plus, physically I was in no shape to travel the hour and half to get there.  So, I didn't go.  I regretted that decision and it haunts me to this day.  I do believe I would have gotten the mental and emotional care I needed if I had of gone home with mama and daddy.  I believe I would have healed quicker because I would have been surrounded by friends and family that cared about my well- being.  If only I could have taken my son with me...I know that sounds morbid.

Finally, the house cleared.  I was so very sad to see my family go, but now I could talk in private with James.  His mother had pulled him aside just before the funeral and told him that she needed to talk with him.  She said that since she had been an RN (back in the day) that she knew the dangers of my hemorrhaging at the funeral and that I would die before reaching the hospital.  Well, that scared James.  He did remind his mom that Dr. Forbes had said I would be safe.  She said she knew better and I stood a good chance of bleeding out if I went.  Not wanting to chance it, James went along with his mother.  I could understand James being scared, but that didn't stop me from what I did next.  I put on a robe, walked down the stairs never looking or speaking as I passed my in-laws, opened the door and walked straight to our car where James helped me get in.  He took me to our son's grave site.  I burst into tears when I saw the little mound of dirt covered with flowers.  James helped me to lay down by his little grave.  Between sobs and sobs of tears streaming down both of our faces, I saw little blue lambs, baby pink roses, and many other flowers.  Who had sent them?  Who was at the funeral?  It hadn't even been in our hometown paper yet.  Who would know to come?  James told me all he could remember about the funeral.  As he had walked to his chair, his dad had to hold him up because he was weeping so hard.  James said he could barely walk.  He doesn't remember much about seeing anyone since his eyes were blurred with tears.  Our minister gave the graveside service, but James doesn't remember a word.  I was very frustrated because I wanted to know what I had missed and James couldn't tell me.  He did get to say good-bye.  His dad had to lift him off of our child's casket and back to the funeral home's car.  I wanted to get get the chance to do that!  I needed to cry at my child's funeral, to see his flower covered casket.  What kind of flowers were on the casket?  James couldn't tell me.  My sister later tried to remember to help fill in the details, but I wanted the details that only a mother would pick out to remember.  While we were at the grave, out of the blue two little old ladies appeared out of know where.  Now when I say "out of no where, I mean it!"  Our son's grave was in a new section of the cemetery.  It was clear all around it.  You had to walk to get to it on just plain empty land.  You would have seen someone coming.  But there they were.  They were like angels.  They told us that God doesn't make mistakes.  James was just in awe of what they said.  He was even more so when they just disappeared as quickly as they appeared.  Now two elderly ladies would have been slow walking and we would have seen them walking away.  But we didn't.  They were just "gone!"  To this very day, we both know without a shadow of doubt that these ladies were angels sent by God to comfort us.  James often speaks about this.  We took our time at the grave with our son, mostly weeping more tears than we thought possible.  It was a warm sunny spring day, May 3, 1975.  It was the day our son had been buried.


  1. I read you blog- post after post. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that. I wish I could hug you. I had a fullterm stillborn baby boy ten months ago and despite all of the support that was available to me, I am dying inside. I can't imagine going through it over three decades ago. I'm sending you lots of hugs and love. Please know I am thinking about you.


    1. Thank you Mary. You learn in time to live with what you have been dealt and make the most of it. Do you have a blog?

  2. Oh my goodness... I can't even imagine!! My heart is breaking for you. I really hope your MIL's intentions were to protect your health, and that she wasn't keeping you from your baby's funeral for other reasons. I'm SO sorry there was such an immense lack of understanding by society and medical professionals. I hope it comforts you to know that because of the mistakes made during your generation, that things have improved so much for ours. I am so grateful to those who came before me... I know I have been blessed because others were not.