Saturday, 27 September 2008

packing, moving and saying goodbye

Before and after loosing Alice Buttons I packed cartons, arranged removalists, lawyers and utilities. On the day Alice died I had a discussion with our lawyer that ended in me being very rude and hanging up. Discussing monies owed on a day like that was not such a good idea. Wanting to punch the man in the truck at the gate the next day was also not such a good idea. Flipping the bird to the annoying new neighbour was a great idea.

So after Alice died I came home from the hospital and I filled cartons with our lives and squeezed remnants of the things we had lost into suitcases and shoe boxes and old bags. I still had on my hospital wrist bands and I couldn't change out of the clothes I wore when Alice was alive and when she died. I didn't want to wash her from me and waited until the next day before I could do this.

I drove many times between the old house and the new house. The road took me past the funeral home where Alice laid waiting. Waiting for me to change out of my dirty clothes covered in cleaning fluid and dust and to put on 'something nice.' They were waiting for me to come to the room with the lace doilies on the table and the tissue box covers and the reproduction furniture. The room where I was treated with kindness, perhaps with a little too much familiarity, and given the folder containing the invoice. In this room I was brave and almost stoic until I read the first line of the invoice;

1. Infants coffin lined with white satin.

Then I sat crying realising perhaps for the first time what I was actually doing in the room with the potted ferns and the blackwood sideboard and the soft tissues. I was here to arrange the cremation of our tiny baby. The baby that would never lay on my chest, feed at my breast, feel her fathers strong hands or see the smiling face of her sister. Our baby that would not dig in the dirt searching for worms or laugh at the songs and stories we would tell her.

Alice Buttons was cremated on Tuesday 23rd September. We were not there. We held no ceremony. Not because it is not important but because we want to choose our own way to remember Alice.


Mary Beth said...

Rachael--I just want to give you a big hug for as long as it would be helpful. I'm so so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts frequently. Strength and courage to you.

Kate said...

I have been trying to think of something to write all day, but words fail me so I'm sending you a hug.

jodi said...

You write so beautifully about your loss and your sadness and I can tell from your last few posts that writing, for you, is an important part of this journey. Of grieving, missing, crying, understanding. Alice Buttons would want you to smile in that new home of yours. Take care x

Jackie said...

Oh, Rach. I wish I could take this pain away for you....or carry it for awhile to give you some peace and rest...Please know that I am thinking of you all day long...and wishing I were there with you.

Hot Belly Mama - taking it all back said...

your blog has moved me to tears. thank you for sharing your story with others....

tiff said...


I have been there, I have been there and yet, I don't know the words to say. Nothing that I write will make it better and I cannot take the pain of losing Alice away from you. Not that I wan to, because that pain is something for you, something tangable to hold onto as you try to start your journey without Alice. That pain that you have, that anger is something that no mother should have to endure and for that reason, I think I want to take it away.
God, I'm not making sense.
Be angry,
Love her fully,
Imagine everything,
Let yourself just be.
Do not make aplologies for anything.
As her Mum, you have the right to grieve her.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Rachel , I am so sorry to read about Alice Buttons.

I knew Tiff had mentioned ~Alice~ when she mentioned my Charlotte.
I never got to ask her about who Alice was.

I met Tiff online after we both lost our babies in 2004. We have met in real life too many times now.

I have been there too, my September spirit ~Charlotte~ was stillborn @26weeks. We were moving too and actually settled on the house we bought for her on the day of her funeral.
I can empathise with your unbelievable grief. Tiff's advice is so perfect and I can't add more.

I wanted to ask if you received a teddy from Teddy Love Club ...if not can I send you one or donate one in Alice's memory to another bereaved parent.