Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Returning Home is Awkward

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I was going to skip a day here. It’s the two month marker from the day we returned home empty-handed from the hospital after delivering Doria. Then an idea struck me, and it was time to write! 🙂

We went through a nice, relaxing morning. Packing our suitcase went as quickly as it should have. Only one suitcase and two experienced travelers. Then we sat there waiting for all the appointments we needed to clear in order to go home. Our nurse told us something amazing about cabbage and what it can do to return Becky’s body to normal. If you’ve been there, you know. It really provided a fun chuckle to out-processing. The delivery doctor, who we only met on delivery day, wanted to meet with us, also. Since we didn’t have a long track record with him, the way we mixed our laughs in with tears gave him some real concerns that we were a major suicide risk. I have some profound experience with emergency suicide prevention counseling (and a perfect record!!!). It’s another hint that smiles have an amazing effect on people. When we smile, a lot of people assume that we’re stupid, and apparently some people assume that we’re suicidal. We weren’t a risk, but you can’t say that. So we listened, soaked it in, and he signed off on our release.

Our amazing nurse Brenda got a cart for the suitcase and backpack (yes, I took books) as well as the other stuff that accumulated during the hospital visit. On the way out, the three of us passed the waiting room. In that waiting room was a man with two of his grandchildren sitting there waiting to celebrate again. That’s when we started to realize just a little more how awkward this was going to be. He beamed at us, and the look in his eyes suggested that he felt happy for us. He didn’t notice that Becky’s arms were empty or that we were missing something extremely important for a visit to the birthing ward. I smiled at him and kept moving. No way did I want to give him a chance to notice, and no way did I want to drag him into our story.

We got downstairs. I went and got the car, which still had the car seat installed. That was awkward. In fact, the first thing I did when we got home was to take that seat to the basement. I didn’t need to see that every time I went somewhere.  On the way home, we went for cabbage and Puffs. We got ourselves the nice lotioned kind. No second-rate stuff for us. For the first time in our lives, we bought tissues in bulk. For some reason, we thought that we would need a few. We got that one right.

As awkward as it had been to call the police and schedule the visit for the car seat, that was a whole lot easier than calling the funeral home to start making funeral arrangements. I can safely say that I still wish that call wasn’t necessary. To this day, I am still amazed at their graciousness. I’ll always be thankful that they did everything at cost, even uttering the words “we don’t want to make money on funerals for babies.” It’s such a vulnerable spot for a couple, and this place turned down some real easy money. I broke down three times in a ten minute call, and that guy was as patient as could be. We set up a meeting, and funeral preparations were moving along.

I’ve planned a lot of different things in my life: military events, training, classes, even a Taekwondo tournament. I never thought that I’d plan a funeral for my baby girl, but here we were. That same night, our pastor came over. We both had the same ideas for the message. I had a couple of songs, he had a song idea, and Becky thought this all sounded great and put it in order (I think). I can safely say that planning that funeral with Pastor Will was almost a joy. We really put together a nice ceremony. I still feel for him in that moment when we realized that we had a nice plan, but he actually had to do something, even talk during a funeral for a baby girl. All I had to do was sit there, hold Becky, and cry. My part was pretty easy.

It was a pretty amazing day, really. Some laughs, tons of tears, lunch with a good friend, and a whole lot of planning. Now we were beginning the next stage of our life.

That said, it’s time to go read something. Somehow, life keeps marching on.


One thought on “Returning Home is Awkward

  1. I have been reading your thoughts each day. I never walked in your shoes but – I will see new babies or a beautiful little dress and think about you & Becky & say a little prayer for God to comfort and give you strength.
    Grma M

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