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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why Didn't I?

I'm overwhelmed with incredible guilt today. 

After Bailey died, we were faced with all the decisions of what to do.  Do we have pictures done? Yes...we do, and we did...and I cherish them.  Do we bury or cremate her?  Adam put his foot down on that one, and I was fine with his decision that we should bury her, but the next question was where do we bury her?  When? 

My mom and dad thought it would be nice to bury her at the foot of my grandmother's grave.  I thought that was a great idea.  My dad called all of my mother's siblings, and asked for permission to bury Bailey there.  Everyone agreed...and I am forever grateful for that.

I couldn't handle arranging Bailey's funeral services.  I never asked Adam to do it.  I just called my parents.  I never gave him the choice...what if he wanted to do it (wanted is a crappy word to put there...who really WANTS to arrange services to bury their child)?  Why didn't I offer to let him do it?  My dad took care of everything.  He called the funeral home and arranged for her to be picked up.  He called the preacher who married me and Adam to ask if he would perform the services.  My dad decided not to have an obituary put on the website or printed in the paper.  My dad made all the hard decisions that I couldn't do, and didn't give Adam the option to do.

But, the one HUGE thing I am feeling incredibly guilty about is this...We never chose an outfit for Bailey to be buried in.  We never dressed her in anything other than what the hospital dressed her in.  And I know she wasn't buried in that because it's now in her memory box.  So, I don't know what my child was buried in, if anything.  I don't know if she was buried in a diaper, completely naked, or if they gave her clothes.  I didn't pick something out for her.  Why didn't I do that?  What kind of mother am I to not think about the last thing my child would wear?  Why didn't I pay attention to that detail?  WHY? 

I know she was already gone, and I know she's in heaven, and it's only her in the physical sense that we buried...but I feel horrible that I didn't do that for her.  I only had few jobs when it came to her...I loved her for every tiny piece of her that she was...I carried her for the beautiful 23 weeks that she was with us...but I didn't do the things after she was gone that I should have...why didn't I do that?

I feel so horrible and so incredibly guilty.


KAM said...

My dad did the same thing. DH and I were in no shape to do any of it. We didn't have Josey's service until almost a week and a half after she passed because I was still in the hospital. By that time, she had already been taken to the funeral home. The day before I took a picture of me and my husband to the funeral home and asked if they could somehow put it in her casket. It had already been sealed but they felt like they could get it in. I was so mad at myself because I hadn't been able to dress her and bury her with her blankie and a toy. But at least she has our picture.

I'm so sorry you feel the same way. I know our babies know how much we love them though.


Dana said...

Oh sweetie....I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better, to make you feel less guilty.

Please don't beat yourself up about this. Look at what you had just been through. The worst experience of your life. Not only were you grieving, but you were in a state of shock. Bailey knows how much you love her, not only did she feel it then (and she feels it now), but she knew how hurt you were and how you were just trying to function. You shouldn't have had to make any decisions or think about what to bury your baby in in the first place.....not choosing an outfit for her burial and not knowing what she is buried in is completely forgivable. Bailey does not think anything less of you for that. No one does.

If Adam wanted to be more involved in planning the services, he probably would have said something. He did have his say about whether she be buried or cremated, so he likely would have spoken out if he wanted more input into the service. Maybe he was glad that someone else was taking care of it. Maybe he couldn't handle it himself.

I'm sure you aren't the only Mom who doesn't know what her baby is buried in. Maybe if you call the funeral home, they could tell you? When Jacob was cremated, the funeral home said they would wrap him in a blanket. Maybe that is a thing that that specific funeral home does, or maybe it is standard. I'm sure they have heard it all and wouldn't think anything odd about you calling and asking.

Whether she was in a blanket, a diaper or an outfit, she was wrapped in your love and that is what really matters.


Melissa said...

You know, I kind of feel the sameway because I didn't change Laken's little gown either. I mean, she was so tiny it would have been hard to find things to fit her, but I wish that I would have asked for something else so that I could have kept what she was wearing. I think about it almost everyday Even her blanket, the funeral home asked if I wanted to keep it and in my mind I thought no I want her to stay warm so keep her wrapped in it. I wish I would have bought something and kept the other, but I was just in complete shock that I didn't even think about it. I regret it so much though. The day of her graveside service the preacher wanted us to know that they had wrapped her in a extra blanket that was yellow with white flowers. I also had bought her a tiny teddy bear, half a magnet heart that said mom and dad on it (I have the other half with her birthstone)and a note/drawing that I did for her. I couldn't put them in with her because the casket had already been sealed so it was put on top of the casket instead. There is a lot of things I regret. These funeral homes though, the people that work at them have big hearts or they wouldn't do what they do. They wouldn't have not wrapped Bailey in a pretty blanket and outfit. I'm sure they treated her just like their own and made her peaceful. Thinking of you and Bailey (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Oh honey, you can't feel so guilty. :( But I understand- as stupid as it sounds, I couldn't sleep the other night because I couldn't remember what Valentina wore on her head when she was buried- we picked an outfit (her "going home" outfit from the hospital) but I don't remember if we put one of her little hats in or if it was a headband with a bow... And it was KILLING ME not to remember. And as stupid as THIS sounds, I feel guilty that we didn't put her in something fancier or more "formal".

We can play this guilt game forever you know. I think that in the beginning, we feel a lot of guilt because we were unable to bring our babies to this earth safe and sound. Then, we reconcile that. And then times like this happen. We will always find new things to feel guilty about. Just try to be gentle with yourself. <3

Violet1122 said...

I hope you can find peace with this soon - please remember that you had just been through the most traumatic experience of your life! Of course you weren't in the position to make all the little decisions. You were grappling with the BIG ones. And you were freshly in grief for your daughter.

I know that might not make you feel better right now. But I hope you can be gentle with yourself. I have no doubt that Bailey only thinks about her love for mommy and daddy - not about the smaller decisions that were made at the time.

You did everything right, Danae. ((Big Hugs))

bibc said...

i just found your blog and wanted to tell you how absolutely gorgeous your daughter is. its so hard. im right there with you.

Nicole said...

Aw, Danae, it's okay! My father did all of Avery's funeral arrangements just like yours did. He also called the pastor who married my husband and I to do the service. We also buried our daughter. It seems like most people cremate their babies, I felt like I was the only one who didn't. We didn't buy Avery anything to wear either. We had no idea what to expect with her size. We knew any of the clothes we'd bought would be way too big. Dolls clothes would have been the only option, and even then, how big or how small did they need to be? There was no way of knowing. And even if I had thought to go out and buy her an outfit in the toy aisle... would I really have wanted to go shopping in a toy aisle for children at a time like that? So don't beat yourself up! Bailey was loved while she was here and still loved to this day and that is really all that matters. :)

Julie said...

kenny was cremated. i never thought about whether he was dressed. we kept the hand-knitted cap, sweater, and blanket that he was in at the hospital. we had never actually bought him any clothes, so we didn't have anything special for him.

there are so many things i wish we had done differently. all you can do is remind yourself that you made the best decisions you could at the time. you had no warning, you couldn't plan ahead, no one gave you the list of issues to consider so that you could make up your mind while you weren't in the midst of the worst grief in your life. i wrote about this topic on my blog, an entry entitled, "in case of emergency," i believe.

don't be too hard on yourself.

Anonymous said...


I came across your blog today and wanted to send my condolences. I have shed many tears reading through it and I wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, as I know a loss never leaves the heart.

I was going to leave your blog without a footprint of being here but I had to comment on this. I had actually exited the blog but came back because I couldn't get it out of my mind.

I don't want to bring up old memories you may have pushed behind you, but I wanted to reassure you that Bailey was dressed comfortably and is resting in peace.

I work currently at a funeral home (and have worked at others in the past) and preparing an infant for a final resting is a not something we take lightly. Typically we dress an infant in a gown or a robe and wrap them with a soft blanket or shawl. We do this for all families, regardless of if they will see their child one last time or not.

This is a strange comment, but I really wanted to reassure you that Bailey is comfortable and will rest in peace.

I hope each day that passes gets easier for you.