February 10, 1996 was the second worse day of my life. February 6th was the worst. I had to do what no parent should ever have to do. I buried my son. The day before, Hubby and I had to go to the florist to pick out flowers to lay across his casket. Not to Toys R Us to shop for a crib. Not to choose a stroller. Not to pick out a cute outfit. Not to become overwhelmed by the huge selection of colorful toys. We had to decide which type and color of flower we wanted at our son's funeral. It was much harder than I thought it would be because as I flipped through the book of arrangements I noticed they were all big-huge. They were all to lay across full-size caskets, the kind for adults who had lived much longer lives than my tiny Angel. With tears streaming down my cheeks I asked the woman if they had anything smaller. I barely got the words, "For a baby" out of my mouth. She told me they could make any arrangement smaller. We chose one with blue carnations and white daisies.
That night Hubby and I went out for a little while with his best friend to try to get away from the pain of the last few days and try not to think about the pain that was still to come. When we got back to my in-laws I got ready for bed. Instead of falling asleep with my precious son on my chest, I had ice packs to relieve the pain of my engorged breasts, full of the milk that was supposed to nourish my darling son.
The next morning I went through the motions of getting dressed, fixing my hair and doing my make up like a robot. I felt like my body was on autopilot, like my soul was removed. I remember arriving at the cemetery where my parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, Hubby's family, and a couple of our close friends waited. I couldn't look. I couldn't bear to see the tiny casket that held the baby I'd held four days earlier, the tiny Angel that died in my arms. I vaguely remember being led to a seat in front of several floral arrangements. In the middle were the flowers Hubby and I had chosen. I don't think the florist understood. Though the arrangement was beautiful, it swallowed the tiny casket underneath it.
I remember the pastor, from the church I grew up in, welcoming everyone. I know he told two stories and I wish so much that I could remember the one about a little girl and her doll. I should have written it down after the funeral but I never did. I know that I cried quiet tears throughout the entire ceremony. I stayed strong until Roy began talking about how we would never see Jacob grow up, how all of the dreams we had for him were lost. That's when my quiet tears turned into gut wrenching sobs. I knew what we had hoped for him was gone but hearing it out loud was too much for me to handle. I was only 23. I shouldn't have been sitting in a cemetery, burying my only son, my second baby, the tiny life I carried close to my heart for nine months.
After Hubby's great aunt's funeral on Tuesday, I walked over to Jacob's grave. My father-in-law walked by my side, his arm around me. He asked if I was okay. I shook my head and said, "I keep thinking it will get easier. That the pain will go away but it doesn't." Over thirteen years later that horrible, stabbing pain still pierces my heart. It's no longer every day, but when I remember, when I take the time to really remember, the pain is just as great as it was on that awful day.
Get up right now. Go hug and kiss your children. If you can't then call them to tell them you love them. Our children are on loan to us from God. They are placed in our care until they have completed the job He put them on Earth to do. Once they have completed their job, God brings them home. Jacob's job was to teach us to live each day to the fullest, to make the most out of our lives, to love each day as if it's our last. Jacob's job was completed in six hours and fourteen minutes. He did it wonderfully. I am proud to be his mommy and proud to have him as my Angel.