Last night was Phoebe's wake. I'm glad that friends and family were able to see her little body, but for Paul and I....well, she just wasn't there. In a way it was a comfort, because I knew she was somewhere else. Her cute little body was just her old dwelling place; something of the past.
Here is a poem I wrote in loving remembrance, and printed on the prayers cards:
In Memory of Phoebe Leilani Clowes
From time to time among the flowers
A bud may never bloom.
While many make the garden bright,
One withers all too soon.
Of all the pretty roses
All scattered 'cross the eath,
Our precious child left us
Just hours after birth.
With ceaseless prayer and crying
We begged that she could stay,
But God's plans for her were bigger
So He took her anyway.
Still to Jesus we shall go and ask
For strength to carry on.
The road ahead seems bleak and bare
Now that our baby's gone.
With aching hearts and trembling hands
We lift sweet Phoebe's name,
And return our little rosebud
To God, from whence she came.
I'm glad that we are finished with the wake. I am so grateful to everyone who found time to come and extend they're support to us and bear witness to her short life. It really makes me realize what an act of charity it is to attend a funeral! Paul and I were both so pleased to see every face, whether familiar or not so familiar. Such a blessing. Thank you!
I have been a part of the Mommy-of-a-Dead-Child club for awhile now, as I miscarried our first (Angela) shortly after our wedding. When you are one of us you learn about things to say and not to say to someone who mourns for the loss of a loved one. For some reason most support websites list the things you should NOT say to someone. I've heard 'em all by now, of course: "It's better this way - this is nature taking care of a problem", or "You are young, you will have another baby". The worst I ever heard was with my first loss, the loss of Angela at 11 weeks when I was 20: " Were you really ready for a baby anyway?" Someone last night told me that when she miscarried her baby at the hospital the doctor told her to stop crying or he would give her something to make it stop.
Well, I don't think I heard anything of the sort last night at Phoebe's wake. Following are several comments that stayed with me and that have touched both Paul and I deeply. These are the RIGHT things to say to parents who have lost an infant:
"I hope you don't mind, I touched her forehead. I couldn't help myself! I've never had the opportunity to touch a Saint."
"Thank you for all your hard work. You have given us an Angel!"
"Phoebe was obliviously content while you were going through all the suffering you did while pregnant. Even when she died she knew nothing but love. Now that she has died she is enjoying joy beyond our imagination - you are here to pay the price, but you could never have given anyone a better gift."
"How are you feeling physically?"
We received a gift last night that should be included in this list. It was a gift certificate to a nursery for a plant, specifically a "Bleeding Heart". This is the plant that is in my picture at the bottom of this blog. It will live on once planted. I intend to plant it on Phoebe's grave, not only for Phoebe but also to remember all the baby's who have died due to heart defects, and sadly there are many.
Now onward to the Mass of the Angels and the burial of my sweet lil peanut. *SIGH* Paul made the casket himself, and I am so looking forward to hearing my sister and honorary brother and sister play and sing for the burial. In the few days between Phoebe's birth and her burial, they have blessed me SO much by learning the same two songs that we played on the computer when Phoebe was born. <3