Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Memorial Service Planning

When my grandpa passed away, after hearing what a process the funeral planning is, I was nervous at the thought of someday having to do it. Of course that will be a very long time from now, so no worries right? I never thought I'd be planning a funeral only a couple years later, and worse, for my own child! This stuff happens to other people, right? I remember getting a cord blood registry ad in the mail when I was pregnant and thinking "I won't need that". Those things happen to other people. Then when Tyler was diagnosed I changed my tune, a little bit. Tyler was a fighter, he pulled through and we were excited to be done. He wasn't going to relapse, that only happens to other people. Then it did. Ultimately, we weren't going to lose our child to cancer, that only happens to other people. Then it did. I remember reading something on that order when Tyler was first diagnosed. I tried to wrap my head around it, but it just wasn't a fathomable thought. It's natural to think this way. It's often hard to imagine something until it happens, and our minds often just don't want to go there anyway. I have actually had people de-friend me on facebook because "that stuff doesn't happen to people like me and I don't want to read about it". Ignorance is bliss I guess.

I called the funeral home friday morning, expecting to be able to come in. Thinking these things happen pretty quickly. He said we could get things started on monday morning. At first I was annoyed, but then I was grateful for the time we had to talk about things at home and make some decisions. We weren't sure whether to choose a burial or cremation. We don't have a house yet, who knows where we'll settle down. Plus Tyler really didn't look much like himself in the end and we would rather remember him as the cute happy little boy that he was. Plus we get to keep him with us. The more I thought about it, the more the cemetery thing just creeped me out. I got to chat with many parents who've lost a child and many who buried regretted the decision and everyone who cremated was happy with it. Thankfully money was not a factor in any decision. Thanks to so many donations we were able to get it covered.

The lady we met with was very nice. I asked if they've done many child funerals and she said no, usually kids this age don't die. They see many infants due to birth problems, SIDS and other things, then they really don't see many kids between 1 and 15. After that kids are driving. It was tough choosing things because what she said was so obvious. In the "infant and children" book there was mostly very baby themed things. Then they really had no children's urns, just for babies and adults. I told her I would get one myself online. We went over all the options, the guestbook, flowers, etc and decided on those things. The only thing I really had an issue with was that for the cremation she was required to explain the process and have us sign that we understand. I know what they do, in general. I really didn't need the details! I am a visual person and that just makes things even harder. The only problem we ran into was that the funeral home, which brags to be the biggest one around, only holds 100 people for services and only holds 50 people for a luncheon. So we set it up at the church my MOPS group uses and that is working pretty well so far. We're meeting with the Pastor and his wife on Thursday to figure out the details of the service. Today we were back at the funeral home to give them pictures for the slide show and create the card for the service. The main holdup has been the Pastor being out of the country. He'll be back wednesday night and we're meeting thursday. It seems so last minute. I also have to prepare a eulogy and decide who's going to do that.

Right now we are going through the motions, getting done what has to be done with the funeral planning. I've needed to do laundry since we got back Thursday and it still isn't started. I've needed to unpack more too and nothing has been touched. I don't feel overwhelmed, just unmotivated and numb. I've been meaning to take Dawson to a park, but haven't been able to. It has been cold out though, so that's a factor. He has this lingering cough from the cold he had and now this morning he woke up with his eyelashes caked with goop and his eyes were red. Took him to the Dr today and they confirmed that it's pink eye. I have some ointment to put in his eyes 4 times a day. Not fun! He was ok when I told him it would make his eyes feel better, and I asked him to lay down. He did! I told him I had to put it on his eye to make it better and he was ok with that. Until I started doing it. He really didn't fight as much as I thought he would though and once it was done he stood up and we just focused on the thought that it was all done and that his eyes are going to feel better. He didn't like the clinic much. He's used to going, but not as the patient. He did his usual thing, looked for a sucker and wandered around the room. He didn't like being put on the table and said "No! Tyler's turn!". He did hold still a bit when I told him they need to look at his eyes, nose and mouth.

This evening we got invited to go rollerskating and decided it would be good to talk to some friends and relax a little. Thankfully the friend who's been watching Dawson the last few days was happy to come babysit while we de-stressed. It's weird living on this side of town, the roller rink is only a few minutes away now! The 90 minutes flew by so fast. It was nice to get out of the house for something besides the funeral home though.

2 comments:

Rose said...

Stephanie,
I'm so very sorry for your loss. Praying for peace for you all.
Rose
(Mom from July 2007 Sunbabies)

kg said...

I know, I know that it really isn't the same, but I remember 9 years ago when we had to plan for my stepson's funeral... it is an awful, surreal experience I would never wish on anyone. It IS one of those things you think, How could this be? This doesn't happen to US. I'm so happy that the funeral costs were taken care of for you. That made me so sad to read that someone would de-friend you on FB because they didn't want to read about what you were going through. Those people should be pitied, though, because they obviously don't know how the world works. :-/ I've been thinking about how you weren't sure how the eulogy would be, but I trust it was just right, whether it was 30 seconds or 3 hours long, whether you decided to have someone read it for you or you read it yourself. I hope you were / are able to draw comfort in seeing so many people today who care so much about your family. You know the SB mamas who couldn't attend today are with you in prayer! (((hugs)))