I’ve gotten hooked lately on Neonatal Doc’s blog. His stories – some hopeful, some harrowing – are fueling my recent energy toward projects for NICU babies.
It had been awhile (since July, I guess) that I had completed any bereavement items for the families of babies who have lost their NICU struggle. I was reminded of the need for these items both through Neonatal Doc’s posts, and the blogs of many folks who comment regularly on his missives. Candy, who writes so openly about the loss of her daughter Emma in 2005, has been a great inspiration as well.
Every family’s story is different, but the one consistent theme I’ve noticed – both from health care providers and the parents themselves – is that if a heartbroken family must say goodbye to their baby, they want to know that their little one is beautiful. This may truly be the only thing they will ever really know about this child. Or if they have spent weeks or months dealing with the ventilators, tubes and tests of the NICU, they want to focus on the beauty of their baby away from all those un-beautiful things.
So the little blankets and outfits they use for that last goodbye or memorial service need to be absolutely beautiful as well. No shoddy work, no scratchy fabric, no dropped stitches. Nothing to detract from the beauty of this lovely, innocent child at peace.
With that in mind, I’m choosing soft, clear colors and purest whites for my latest batch of bereavement quilts and blankets. A little embroidery around the edges. Yarn with a bit of sheen. Satiny ribbon to hold the precious bundle. Nothing to call attention to itself…just something simple and lovely that, as the parents' last keepsake, will echo the pure beauty of their child.
I'm really moved by the stories I read in other blogs about parents' experiences, and I thank each one of them for the inspiration for this special service work.