Emily posted about a woman who arranged for a highly symbolic "funeral ceremony" of sorts for the sonogram of her aborted child. Lots of so called "post-abortion healing" programs include a "funeral ceremony" as part of their culminating activities. It's supposed to be sort of a symbolic way to let your child go, to entrust your child to God and "heal" or "move on" somehow.
I'm big into symbolism, and very shortly after coming home from losing my child in a second trimester abortion, I was at an art gallery trying to "take my mind off of it" as was being suggested (read: "forced down my grieving throat"). In the gift shop there were Egypt/mummy related items such as a cardboard toe-pincher (retro coffin) overlain in gold leaf.
I bought the coffin and took it home where I stuffed it full of my pregnancy calendar, a gold stork pin with a baby dangling from it (a gift at 10 weeks), the blood-soaked socks I had worn during my self-imposed child loss procedure and the beautiful sonogram of my child's tiny arm waving to me at nine weeks (when I had been hospitalized for HG). I buried this coffin outside in my own "secret garden" at the edge of the woods. I prayed and cried and said goodbye.
Several months later I ran from the house, tears streaming down my cheeks, mingling with the icy rain that pelted my hot face. Through the darkness I stumbled into my secret garden, and there in the moonlight I fell on my knees pawing at the ground like a burrowing animal until I struck gold.
The coffin was gone but my searching fingers hit the shiny pin. I scoured the pit for the socks, but as I have discovered, time stops for no grieving woman, and the seasons of the spinning earth had long since devoured my bloody cotton footings. I was angry at the moist and gaping hole. It was mocking me, and I began punching it for sucking my blood away like a giant, unfeeling leech. The skin from my knuckles split open like turtle eggs, but I didn't care. The earth ate my socks, confound it! It was taking my baby from me again, just like each day carries my squalling papoose further and further away on its back. Everything was gone, but I dug anyway. If the hole got big enough I might just roll in it. On and on and eventually, paydirt.
The film was made of indestructible, unrecyclable, bad for the environment plastic, praise God. My waving child had come back to me. The text in the corner... "Hi, Mom!" the nurse had typed. A little worse for wear from minerals and rain, the abrasiveness of soil, of earth, death and life... but my baby, from my heart into my hand. Small favors. Small and endless favors. I poured my thank you's out into the starry sky. Just me and God.
I miscarried my second child right around Christmas and had abortion-related issues. I wouldn't let my doctor take my baby. I got the third degree; the baby's dead body was at least a week dead and rotting inside me. This could cause sepsis, kill me, didn't I know? I knew. I went home.
A friend called with her dead, rotting baby/sepsis story. I wanted to be left alone. I consented.
I kind of freaked out as they were putting me under; "Don't take my baby, please don't take my baby," and that sort of thing. But I stopped just as soon as I lost consciousness. I woke up to the dull ache of another child gone and blood on the sheets. Just a small amount of blood, not a puddle, a bath, an ocean like the first time.
I made funeral arrangements and had the child blessed and interred with my mom and dad. I also had my first child's sonogram interred. No blessing for that child; it had not been allowed.
I tried the best I knew how. "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, I baptize you with my tears, child of my heart." I took the moisture from my eyes and drew a wet cross on the sonogram in a private moment at home. Just me and God.
Later at the cemetery, the funeral director (my old boss) took the tiny ceramic sonogram-containing box and placed it and my miscarried child on top of my mother's wooden casket, which was busting apart at the seams from the Florida humidity.
It was windy and raining. My husband didn't come. No one came. Just me and God.
Every so often I wish I still had that picture. It killed me to look at it, imagining the tiny waving hand completely obliterated with the fingers broken and bent backwards at impossible angles the way I've seen the fingers of other bloodied, aborted children. Yes, it killed me. But it was all I had, and as I said, beggars can't be choosers.
Ultimately the ceremony didn't work.
Love can't be confined in a casket or a mausoleum or even in goodbye. Love is in the heart and never minds farewell.
:: ashli 11:49 AM # ::