It's hard to describe the feeling I had when I woke up this morning.
I knew I was home, but I felt like I was supposed to be somewhere else.

It was like I was just fired from my job.

I didn't know what to do with myself. I don't have any rounds to attend, no doctors to talk to, and no baby to check in on. I grew so accustomed to my schedule at the hospital that now: I don't know what to do. I surprise myself by not bursting out into tears. I expected to wake up, forgetting what had happened the morning before and to be hit in the face with the reality of where I was and why.
But I never got hit. It didn't happen. No tears, no shock. It was more like I had never really fell asleep so there was no need to try and remember. Because I never forgot.
So I try to go back to sleep.
I didn't sleep well. I thought I would sleep good in my own bed, in my own house. But I only tossed and turned. I missed the bed at the McDonald house.
My back starts hurting so I get out of bed. I have to wait on the funeral director to call anyway, we need to go down to the funeral home to start making arrangements.
My first day home in over a month and I'm picking out caskets.

Two hours later, the funeral director hasn't called yet, so I call him. He tells me that we can head on down. I don't know how to prepare myself for what we are getting ready to do. My parents offer to go with us for emotional support.
I'm sure I'll need it.

Walking up to the front door of the funeral home feels like I'm walking into something I can't walk out of. Like once I go in, there is no coming out.
My first thought when I step through the door is: its cold. I take a deep breath in, trying to calm my nerves and keep back the tears.
I do not want to be here.
We are shown into a room to wait. The ceilings are tall, the wallpaper is blue floral, the furniture is sparse. It feels so quiet, so old.
The director walks in, apologizing for not calling sooner. He rambles off the usual condolences: "so sorry for your loss...such a hard thing...can't imagine your pain..."
Blah de freaking blah blah.
I just want him to cut the crap and get down to it. I can tell he's said it a million times and it no longer sounds sincere. Or maybe it was, I just don't want to hear it.

We go over the obituary. He asks what the baby's name was.
Was? Was?! My baby's name IS Corbin, he IS still my child and still very much a part of me. I just want to smack him.
We go over family names and and on what days we want the services.
When will the services be?
Which preacher?
Do you want thank you cards?
How about a memory book?
Do you want to see the chapel?
Do you want us to release doves?
Do you want to show a video?
Which songs do you want played?
How about flowers?
Will you have pictures?

It feels unreal. Like I'm watching a movie. I cannot be sitting here, discussing caskets and lining. Blue costs more then white...infant sizes are cheaper...fee for grave site, fee for digging, fee for tombstone base, fee for wake services, fee for funeral services, fee for transport.
Just take my arm while you're at it.

I don't stress about picking the perfect casket; he only has one. It's small and made of a very hard, crush proof plastic. It's a beige color. He says its 22 inches long.
"And will he...." I can't finish, I press my fist to my mouth to hold back tears.
"Yes, he will fit in here."
I forget he has Corbin's body in the building. He had to pick him up from the hospital the day before.
"Now, do you want to see him before the...?"
"No." I quickly answer. No, I don't want to see him. I want to remember my sweet baby the way he looked before his last surgery. Awake, big blues eyes following me around, his little fist curling around my finger. Not like he was the day he passed...cold, swollen. No, no I want to remember my baby when he wasn't sick.

We wrap up the details, check the obituary one last time for mistakes, then make our way out. We have to head to the graveyard next to pick out a spot.
I can't wait...


Unknown said...

Oh how my heart aches for you. I remember thinking it was so surreal, talking to the funeral director about my baby's funeral. I'll never forget going into that room to go over everything. Was almost all too much. Thank you for sharing and telling us Corbin's story.

I remember too being surprised at my reactions at different points. For instance, I didn't cry at all at the funeral. Please know whatever you're feeling is fine and that there's no wrong or right way to do this.

Unknown said...

Ruth I'm so sorry. I know not much makes, it better right now but remxember we are. And will be here for you
You have. A heart if gold and the soul if an angel.
I cannot imagine, your, pain. But, I, know you were always there for me. One if my first blogging ws friends. I don't. Want that to end.
I love you guys and I, pray for some rest and peace

Anonymous said...

I am soooo sorry for everything. I know that you are hearing this a lot, but I am sincere. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers. Your little Peanut has touched me in so many ways. Please know that you and you family will always be in my prayers.

Lisa said...

I wish I could do or say something to make you feel better :(

mama to j and bean said...

I wish I had the words, Ruth... But it seems that you do. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story. You write with beauty, strength and grace and you have touched my heart. xoxo

Erin said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. You don't know me, but I have read all about you and Corbin and he has touched my heart with his strenght and his will to fight. He fought so hard and loved with his whole heart. The world lost a warrior and Heaven gained a beautiful angel, your angel, he will always be with you and he will always watch over you. I will pray for strenght and comfort for you and your family.

facebook said...

we share this feeling together my sister for it was my baby girl Vivian Livas whose Birthday is today, she deceased on March 3,1974, and you are so right, no one can know what we feel and what we miss, but as you say, you can never forget, and I know that when God takes our little ones, it is because they are very much needed in this world of ours, they are our Guardian Angels, Angel of God my Guardian dear to whom my life commits me here, ever this night be at my side to light and guard to rule and guide. To all of our deceased angels around the world.

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