A FB post on the Washington, DC area Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network page led me to this prompt:
“A conversation about acceptance has led me to post this for you to fill in: “I have my child’s body/ashes __________, and I hold ______ when ______. ” Many people keep their babies at home, even holding or sleeping with an urn, etc. “Normal” comes to mean a whole nutha thing in extraordinary circumstances.”
To answer: I have my child’s ashes in a faux wooden box on a shelf in my main living area (the wall between kitchen and dining room), and I hold one of the stuffed animals that I associate with him when I miss cuddling his little body against mine.
As I’m sure I mentioned previously, I haven’t been able to scatter his ashes yet, though K would like them scattered where we got married. But we have agreed, on the advice of our grief support group, that there is no rush. It’s not something you can take back, after all. So for now, they sit on a shelf with several other objects that remind me of him: a candle, a Willow sculpture, a picture of us holding him, a letterpress A, a small glass dragon/dinosaur. The shelf is visible from anywhere in our main living area, the kitchen/dining room/living room combo (open floor plan condo). Someday, I plan to get him a nicer box, but for now, this will do.
The stuffed animals are in a different room, on a shelf in what would have been his nursery. There is a corduroy dinosaur we got at the hospital gift shop for him, the two bears we got at our grief support group (a koala and a teddy wearing a blue onesie), a frog from his grandparents that snuggled with him during kangaroo care, and a very soft, small fox K brought home from a conference. When I need a hug, they are there, which was the point of our support group giving each member a stuffed cuddly animal. They knew what we broken-hearted, hurting mamas needed.