If there is such a thing as a perfect day for a funeral, today was it. Blue skies. A warm breeze. Flowers were blooming and the leaves were rustling in the trees. Maybe the recent death in the family has made me take more notice in my surroundings, or perhaps the death has made me more aware of the whole God/nature connection. Regardless...it was a beautiful day, this very sad day we said goodbye to Baby Connor.
The anticipation of this funeral had me very upset since I've never had to deal with the death of someone so young. I knew I'd cry, so I grabbed a handful of tissues as we walked into the funeral home. As Patrick and I stood in line we watched a video that was playing pictures of Connor. I watched the first few - his mom holding him in her arms, his perfect little hands folded over each other, him laying on his tummy - and I had to look away. I was trying to hold it together at least until we got to pay our respects to Patrick's cousin and her husband. They were holding up surprisingly well, considering all they had been through (especially since she had just been released from the hospital the day before). We hugged and I told her how sorry I was (the biggest understatement ever) and that I loved her. And like any good mom, her eyes moved to her son and she smiled. There he was. Baby Connor. With his sweet face and pudgy cheeks. He was wearing a hat and there was a beautiful blanket folded up by his feet. My breath caught in my throat and I couldn't stop the tears. I heard a sob, but it wasn't me. I looked over and saw that it was Patrick. He turned and left. I followed him and when I got outside I cried harder than I have in a very long time. That little boy. That baby. His parents should be cuddling him and watching him sleep right now. They should be getting to know his cries and his strange little noises. They should be smelling his skin. They should be in awe of him. They shouldn't have had to bury him.
On the way home from the funeral I started to cry again. I was remembering that huge decision of what outfit I was going to bring home Griffin from the hospital in - the "homecoming outfit." All the books and all the women in my expecting club were talking about it. He was a summer baby, so it wasn't like I was going to put him in anything more than a onesie and some light pants, but I still felt the pressure. One night while Patrick was at baseball with Duncan (and I was feeling too pregnant and warm to sit through a 2 hour ballgame), I finished washing and drying all of Griffin's baby clothes. I sat on the couch, surrounded by an enormous pile of clothes, burp cloths, sheets, and towels and tried to figure out what he should wear home from the hospital. I was getting high off the smell of Dreft, but I finally settled on the blue and white striped onesie with the puppies on it, along with some pants and a light blue hat. In my mind this was a significant decision. We'd be taking pictures of him before we left the hospital and when we got home. As I looked in that tiny casket this morning I realized that Connor's parents had to make the worst decision of their lives - what to bury their baby boy in.
I spent the day alone today with Griffin. We've been known to butt heads at times. He is strong-willed. I am stubborn. He is a force to be reckoned with. I am exhausted. But today was different. We giggled and laughed and played. I hugged him over and over and over. I told him how much I love him and I didn't care one bit when he flipped himself over when I was changing his diaper. I just flipped him back and smiled.
I wish I had a profound way to end this post, but I don't. Griffin is upstairs sleeping right now. I am grateful for every minute we've had with him, and I will be grateful for every minute from now on.