Do you have a special place in your home for your baby? What is it like? Do you have any rituals that you perform in memory of your baby?
In the corner of my bedroom, I have Thomas' mobile hanging and pictures, his teddy is there too, wearing the red satin donut that I made for Thomas and he loved. His corner is on the right side of the bed near my head, it is normally what I look at before I go to sleep, and what I see when wake up.
I never even thought about beginning a a ritual for Thomas. I know some religions have rituals that are practiced for the dead. I have never been exposed to them, so I don't know what significance is attached to them. The idea of lighting a candle every night is lovely although I couldn't do that, because I would be the person who forgot. I would either forget to light it or forget to extinguish it. I would be alternately calling the fire brigade or feeling guilty.
Some of the graves in the cemetery have little lanterns on them, I have seen a lady going around lighting them all some evenings. An Asian religion requires that food be left for the departed so that their spirit will remain satisfied in the afterlife and not come back. I would struggle with these sorts of things. I suppose if I belonged to one of these religions, I would know the significance and probably not forget. I don't know.
If you believe in an afterlife, do you receive signs from your baby? Have you ever felt their presence? Do you find them in nature? Do they visit you in your dreams?
I believe that my baby is in heaven and I will be reunited with him there.
Before Thomas died I was given a vision of him by a man (TN) who also had Osophageal Atresia when he was born. TN was now in his mid 20's. I could see that it was possible for my son to become a fully grown man too one day. It gave me hope. TN recorded a dream that he sensed was given to him by God for our encouragement. He emailed it to me and here
is a link to it. When it was received, I was unsure of the encouragement, afterwards I realised that it was for help in our grief.
After Thomas died I was given a book. Its called "my dream of Heaven""Originally published as Intra Muros" by Rebecca Reuter Springer.
The gifter had read the original book "Intra Muros" many years ago. She recalled passages about babies in the very old book she read about 50 years ago, those passages don't appear in the recently published book. I was curious enough to see if I could get hold of the original book. I could and I did, via the company Alibris, it was sent to me from halfway around the world. It has beautiful pictures and poetry in it.
This picture is from page 53.
I scanned this picture from page 33.
There is an extra chapter in the old book that wasn't published in the new book, and that extra chapter has lots of references to children. Other chapters and passages bear similarities to the prophetic vision given by TN.
The book was given to me because the gifter felt that it was comforting to know that babies and small children are loved and cared for in heaven.
A passage in Chapter 7 on page 33 reads....
"When we emerged form the water we found the banks of the lake almost deserted, everyone having gone, at the call of bell, to the happy duties of the the hour. Groups of children still played around in joyous freedom. Some climbed the trees that overhung the water, with the agility of squirrels, and dropped with happy shouts of laughter into the lake, floating around upon its surface like immense and beautiful water-lilies or lotus flowers. "No fear of harm or danger; no dread of ill, or anxiety lest a mishap occur; security, security and joy and peace! This is indeed the blessed life," I said, as we stood watching the sports of the happy children."
And another passage in the same chapter reads...
"Not far from our home we saw a group of children playing upon the grass, and in their midst was a beautiful great dog, over which they were rolling and tumbling with the greatest freedom. As we approached he broke away from them and came bounding to meet us, and crouched and fa
wned at my feet with every gesture of glad welcome.
"Do you not know him Auntie?" Mae asked brightly.
"It is dear old Sport!" I cried, stooping and placing my hand around his neck, and resting my head on his silken hair. "Dear old fellow! How happy I am to have you here!"
He responded to my caresses with every expression of delight, and Mae laughed aloud at our mutual joy.
"I have often wondered if I should find him here. He surely deserves a happy life for his faithfulness and devotion in the other side. His intelligence and his fidelity were far above those of many human beings whom we count immortal."
Such a beautifully illustrated book
(I am tempted to say "tome")
And another passage...
I remember once seeing a little girl enter heaven, the very first to come of a large and affectionate family. I afterward learned that the sorrowful cry of her mother was, 'Oh, if only we had someone there to meet her, to care for her!" She came lovingly nestled in the Master's own arms, and a little later, as he sat, still caressing and talking to her, a remarkably fine Angora kitten, of which the child had been very fond, and which had sickened and died some weeks before, to her great sorrow, came running across the grass and sprang directly into her arms, where it lay contentedly. Such a glad cry as she recognized her little favorite, such a hugging and kissing as
that kitten received, made joy even in heaven! Who but our loving father would have thought of such comfort for a little child? She had evidently been a timid child; but now as the children gathered about her, with the delightful freedom they always manifest in the presence of the Beloved Master, she, looking up confidently into the tender eyes above her, began to shyly tell of the marvelous intelligence of her dumb pet, until at last Jesus left her contentedly playing among the flowers with the little companions who had gathered about her. Our Father never forgets us, but provides pleasures and comforts for us all, according to our individual needs."
My husband has heard words in the wind, from Thomas. I am envious of that.
I have never felt Thomas' touch on my skin, but there are little things that I feel blessed because of.
On his 1st birthday I went back to the duck pond that we had walked around on the day of his birth. A feather stood out on the grass, so I picked it up, I felt it had been left for me. I have kept it. There were hundreds of feathers on the grass that evening, I didn't see any others though, not until I picked this one up.
When we remembered Thomas on his anniversary a plane flew overhead. An old fashioned bi-plane! Just like the ones in his mobile. That was a sign! He was with us.
Do you have a special poem, song, prayer or quote in memory of your baby?
I have written some poetry but it seems a bit bleak when I read it today. I love finding beautiful poetry, bright or bleak, I don't mind.
In keeping with all of the above, I thought I would attach two verses that were scanned from "Intra Muros". I have no idea if it is two verses of one poem or two separate pieces.
Longfellow sure has a way with words.