Six months ago today, my wife delivered our precious, stillborn baby Doria. After spending quality afternoon time with friends, family, and Doria, we sat down for the only family dinner the three of us will ever have. If someone had told me at any point in my previous 39 years that I would look forward to eating a meal in the same room as a dead baby, there’s no way I would have believed that. It sounds crazy, but I looked forward to that. Your perspective changes when you only get one chance at something like that. So we ate. Didn’t taste anything, but we ate.
I filled out the certificate of fetal death. A friend of ours from church, who happens to be a nurse in that unit, stopped by to say hello. We met the social worker. I got to talk to her about funeral homes, and called our pastor for his recommendation, then called the funeral home to start the arrangements. Everything in this entry so far is something I never thought I would bother to do, but there it was. Doria died, and things changed dramatically.
I’ll always appreciate that the funeral home and the hospital let us make the choice as to when they would take Doria’s body away. Her body, I say, because she’s home in Heaven waiting. That’s one more decision I never imagined, but made the call. Around 9:30 PM, our little Doria wasn’t a physical presence in our lives anymore. From that moment on, our life with Doria shifted purely to a life of memories and a digital file of photographs.
I guarantee that I’ve seen our Doria photos from that day at least 250 times apiece. It’s easy, right, since those pictures are the only ones we have. Physically, we were a one-night, one-meal family. Spiritually and all, we’re a family that lasts forever, so we have that to look forward to. Right now, though, I really remember most the one night that the three of us were together as a family.