Mending My Heart…

July 17, 2009

I called on Monday to have the boys’ death certificates amended to include their names.  We didn’t give their names to the doctor at the hospital, I can’t remember…morphine….

The boys don’t have death certificates.

They never drew a breath outside of my belly.  I was told that they aren’t entitled to any certificate.

Why does this bother me so?  Yeah, I don’t know.  I discussed this at length with the therapist and she thinks that I just need something to hold on to so that I don’t feel like they are slipping away or that I needed this for closure.  I don’t know.  I feel like the universe gave me closure when it took them from me.  I’ve struggled with how I wanted to remember them, what I’ve wanted something that I could look at if I wanted to but put away if I needed to.  A tattoo is not something I can just put away…a piece of jewelry maybe?  Nothing I have seen has spoken to me in away that I would want to remember the boys.  I have a great key chain that I love but I can’t decide if I want something I can put in their baby book or…I just don’t know….I feel unsettled…

I took a deep breath this morning, swallowed my tears and emailed a friend who draws – J, she’s a sorority sister who lives in San Fran.  I wanted to call her but it’s been to hard to even say the words to Hubby.  He doesn’t know there are no death certificates.  I don’t know if it will matter to him.  Anywho, I’ve asked her to make me certificates for the boys.  I have no idea what she will say…it’s a lot to ask someone – “can you sit down for a couple of hours and make a little memorial to my dead babies? ”  Good times.

I’m hoping she will say yes but if not, I will find something else…I think I need to do this.


8 Responses to “Mending My Heart…”

  1. Amy Says:

    I wish there were different standards for birth/death certificates. It seems so unfair that if babies were once alive in the womb, then died, that there is no official certificate for the parents.

    I hope you find what you are looking for as a way to remember your sweet boys. The handmade certificate sounds like a lovely idea.

    Sending love.

  2. Kelly Says:

    Oh, wow. I can see why that would be hard for you to learn that there aren’t any death certificates. It’s like “the powers that be” don’t acknowledge that there were deaths, when there most certainly were. I think it’s a great idea to find something that you can hold onto, and hopefully your friend can help you come up with something.

  3. Christy Says:

    My babies lived for about a day outside the womb….so I ordered their birth certificates, right? I was actually “excited” to get them and see them. Then they show up and in giant letters spiraling down each certificate it says “DECEASED.” It says DECEASED on their BIRTH certificate. In giant letters.
    The world just doesn’t care. It is so frustrating. Probably less so than not even getting anything, though I am a little peeved about spending 50 bucks on them.
    I’m so sorry you have to reach out and ask someone to do this for you and I wish I was artistic or crafty or something so that I could do it.

  4. iamstacey Says:

    It’s a wonderful idea to get certificates made. I hope your friend can do it for you!

  5. Becca Clark Says:

    Bureaucracy sucks. How ridiculously unfair and insensitive. I’m so sorry.

    I hope you will keep us posted on what your friend says. I think that could be wonderfully healing for you. I know it means more coming from a friend, too, but if she says she can’t do it, and you feel comfortable, you may want to invite your readers and virtual friends. I’m sure one of us is or knows an artist.

    I did the baby book thing for the little one I lost, four and a half months ago now. In it, I put all the sympathy cards and prayers and pictures people sent me. I asked on my blog for people to send me drawings, poems, prayers, and so on, and gathered them into one place. I told my husband, a few weeks after the miscarriage, that all we had to show for it were bloodstains and medical bills. I needed that not to be true; I needed to have something else, so I kept the outpouring of love, and every once in a while I look at it. Things that were really hard at first– like the ultrasound photo– are now really helpful to me to remember that the experience was real, my baby was real, and nothing takes that away, even if my little one was taken away. Perhaps death certificates for your boys (or jewelry– have you considered something like a mother’s ring with birthstones chosen to reflect a particular time you feel is meaningful?) will give you a piece of that to hold on to in those times when some of it seems to be slipping away.

    strength and peace,

    • mkwewer Says:

      I wish that I had kept up with the baby book as I went along, it might have been easier than trying to go back and do it. That’s one of my big regrets. Thanks for your suggestions, I have thought about a ring…

      I hope you are finding to peace and healing.


  6. Gretchen Says:

    I knew they wouldn’t issue birth certificates, but no death certificates? Seriously? How was this billed for insurance, I know that sounds cold, but they had to title it for billing…how can they not issue a death certificate? UGH. I’m sure J will make these for you. I hope they help. Is there someone I can call and yell at for you?

    • mkwewer Says:

      I wish there was. The thing that kills me is, they asked me all of the information for the death certificate and even called me back 4 months later to request additional information! It was billed as labor and delivery.

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