If there is one thing that has been helpful throughout this terrible time it has been finding ways to honor our beautiful baby boy. From the first day we left the hospital I was consumed with an urge to commemorate the fact that we made perfect little boy named Isaac. I think my inclination is to worry that the world will forget that this ever happened. So below are some of the ways we’ve been remembering our baby.
- Planting a Tree: We planted a pin oak tree in New Hampshire. Some day we will put a little sign on the tree and it will always be a special place for us to feel close to Isaac. A close family friend offered to plant one here, in Pennsylvania, as well. My husband’s parents also hinted they might plant a similar tree in Charlotte. This makes my heart as close to happy as it will get at the moment.
- Jewelery: I’ve likely gone overboard here, but being able to wear things that symbolize Isaac is comforting. So far I have a necklace. It’s actually Isaac’s sign, Cancer, with his birthstone, Ruby, mixed in. I got mine from Satya. I actually found myself calmer while wearing it. We are looking for a ring that I can wear as well. I want something small and stackable with his birthstone (and his name inside if possible). The idea will be to put small rings with my birthstone and my husband’s around it for now. Then, hopefully, when we have more children, we can add rings for them as well. My mom has a stack for her kids (me and my three younger sisters). They’re perfect, but, unfortunately the jeweler has gone out of business. Etsy has tons of rings, but it is so hard to know if they are high quality and this is one piece of jewelery I couldn’t bear to have break or not look nice. We’re going to take my mom’s rings to a local jeweler we trust to see if he knows someone who can make something similar for us.
- Crafts: I’ve always liked crafts, but this experience has driven me to learn some new ones. When I was much younger, I went to overnight camp. It was a sports camp and I did not like it. However, I did learn to use a router to carve wooden signs. Random, right? All of those signs are scattered around my parents’ lakehouse. The first night I was out of the hospital, I was looking at the mantle in my bedroom and just decided it had an empty spot where an Isaac sign belonged. My dad bought be a dremel, and after a few days of practicing I carved a sign with our baby’s name.
We filled in the carved part with my husband’s favorite color, and my dad put copper around the edge. He’s going to add a coat of varnish. We wrote a little message to Isaac on the back.
- Charity: While I initially had a terrible doctor in the hospital (yes – you can save someone’s life and be terrible simultaneously – another story for another time), I could not have been luckier with my second doctor and one of the most remarkable groups of women for nurses. I was basically in the middle of nowhere in a tiny hospital with a total of 25 beds, but I received amazing medical care. In lieu of flowers and such, we asked for people to donate to Speare Memorial Hospital’s Labor & Delivery Department. They have received an outpouring of gifts in Isaac’s memory that I never could have imagined. On the one hand, we’ve been able to actually see the love that existed in this world for our baby boy. On the other hand, our loss could actually help other people in similar situations. The hospital has two labor and delivery rooms, the one that I spent my entire visit in is going to be named in honor of Isaac. Someday, when I’m feeling stronger, my husband and I will go and see it.
- Gifts: I’m not the only one who lost Isaac. Our family and friends lost him too. My husband craves personal reminders of our son the same way that I do. He has asked for a subtle bracelet (this is challenging since he’s not someone I picture wearing bracelets generally). I will find one eventually. I did get him a keychain with Isaac’s footprints engraved on it. The footprints we got from the hospital weren’t fantastic, and it looks like he only had 8 toes (he had 10 – we counted every one), but they are perfect to us. My mother in law and sisters in law are also interested in something to remember Isaac. I am searching for the perfect things for them. Looking for the perfect gifts seems like such a trivial thing to be doing 3 weeks after our world caved in on us, but it’s simultaneously distracting and lets me remember my son.
I know I’m forgetting things we’ve been doing. Also, not everything we do is something that others can see. We’re trying to be better people every single day to honor our son. He deserves the best.