Wednesday, April 20, 2011

37 Weeks - A Broken Cross, A Broken Heart

I arrived at Bergan Mercy for a 24 week u/s of Sam on Monday at around 3:50. My appointment wasn't until 4:15 and I was less than a block from the cemetery. I wanted to go, but I had only "driven by" once before without Tim or Noah with me. 
But I have time...I should go I thought.

When I pulled up I saw what no Mommy wants to see.
Everything we had put out for her, ALL of her decorations had been removed. All that remained was a battered green marker id-ing her spot as "Amelia Grace Lorang."
It looked like a paupers grave, forgotten and untended.
The tears came without control. I could hardly get out of the car.
I knew the cemeteries policies but had been under the impression that they "left Babyland alone."
Clearly they do not.
Beginning March 1st, all grave decorations must be attached or contained in a cemetery approved vase.
We have yet to purchase a marker for our little Amelia.
Which meant not only had all that we had lovingly placed there for her had been removed and piled in trash heap just behind the cemetery office, but that anything we placed there between now and mid November would be removed as well.

I have been planning for weeks, the design of an Easter basket for Amelia's grave that I now know cannot be.

I would not have expected to lose all emotional hold of myself at the realization that I could not decorate my daughter's grave. I hardly shed a tear at her funeral service for pities sake!!!!
Why this? Why now?

With the help of the Manager of the cemetery,
I waded through the garbage in search of Amelia's things.
Her pinwheel ~ gone...
sometimes people rummage through and take the nicer things, he explained.
Her Purple cross~only a portion remained dangling from the bent metal frame.

I managed to find a small angel and some remnants of her red Christmas flowers. The manager stood by as I tiptoed through the pile, there anything in particular you are looking for?

Not really I said. There was a pinwheel I said.  
Just her things I said.
I told him it was ok, I understood. There was nothing he could have done...
I quietly loaded the flowers and plastic angel  into the trunk of the Acura and hurried away the tender apologies of the manager trailing behind in the exhaust.

In the parking lot facing the maternity center where Amelia was born and died, I tried to pull myself togther. It took me almost 15 minutes just to stop crying enough, to walk through the hospital doors for my appointment.

My heart is still in pieces days later.
This morning I laid it all at the foot of the cross and I was comforted by these words...
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.
1 Corinthians 15:54

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 
Romans 6:4-5


Amy said...

Im sorry. That must have been so very difficult. Although the cemetery has rules you still don't think all her possessions would be thrown out. Its not fair or right. She knows she is loved. Im sure she's right there with you as you experience these things. Not having a place where you can give her gifts must be so difficult. I haven't been able to write much lately but have been following the blog. Hugs to you.

Hannah Rose said...

You poor thing! I'm so sorry this happened to you. I truly don't understand why they have such ridiculous policies! I still don't have a marker for Lily, even 13 months later. :( I can't really afford it. And her grave is 250 miles away from me, so when I visit her, I'd like to leave nice things there. Much love to you, dear one. <3

CynthiaS said...

I am crying with you right now. That is just awful to have to deal with, especially alone. Maybe you needed time alone for a good cry although it stinks that Amelia's decorations ended up trashed :(
I thought of you Sunday at church, at the end of our service there were large crosses and palm leaves. Whoever wanted to take a palm leaf (symbolizing disappointment) and bring it to the foot of the cross could do it. I thought of how you often say that you "lay it down at the cross." Love the symbolism and it's wonderful to know that we can bring our disappointments to the foot of the cross as many times as we need to and God will carry those burdens for us. {HUGS}

Ava's mummy said...

Another one with tears for you and beautiful Amelia after reading your post. I am so truly sorry that you had to experience that. There are no words but a lack of compassion. I am sending you all much love and gentleness. xxx

Rachel's Mama said...

Oh Melissa, I cannot imagine the disappointment. I pulled up to Rachel's this week wondering if I would find the's not just about the stuff, it's about the love your poured into it. I'm sorry this happened. The name plates just don't seem like enough for our precious girls, but remember that they have much more than that now. It's us who go without. love you

bethany actually said...

Crying with you. ♥

Kara said...

Oh, Melissa - I'm so sorry that all of Amelia's things were so carelessly taken and tossed away. I can imagine the heartache and desperation. HUGS!! I'm allowed to leave things at Karinne's grave, but recently learned that many things are no good with our crazy wind in western Kansas. The sweet pinwheels I took out there were gone - blown away to pieces - within a couple of days. So hard to not be able to "dress up" our babys' graves especially since it's the only way we can "dress them up" at all.

Jennifer said...

Melissa, I am so, so sorry that you had to find that and alone too! I can not imagine the hurt and emotions you experienced in those moments. Amelia knows how much she is loved. Love and hugs sweet friend!

Unknown said...

I'm sorry hun that her things that were placed with love were discarded. :( Our cemetery has a policy similar to the one yours is taking on. We can only put flowers into vases or attached to the headstone. I know I would love to do more but I understand why they do it.

Amy von Oven said...

I am SO SORRY for what you had to go through. There are moments we NEVER SEE COMING and I believe those are the moments that GOd wraps His arms around us and reminds us He is still there. My heart and prayers are with you!

Sarita Boyette said...

This was devastating, I know. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Some of Meredith's beautiful funeral flowers were stolen & that put a big hole in my heart at the time. The only thing we can do for our babies is to pretty up their graves, a garden at home,or a shelf, etc, in our home. Even though our precious babies are in Heaven, it helps us to bring these things to them. (((HUGS)))

Pamela M M Berkeley said...

I am so sorry this happened! My heart aches for you. I am glad our God is a comforter.