Sunday, May 06, 2007

Memorial Service

Well, we just returned from an Ecumenical Memorial Service that the hospital has for parents who have lost children. It was at Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria. It was a really beautiful setting for such a beautiful ceremony. There were 3 readings remembering children who passed away recently (2 were Brian and Sawyer), with songs between each one. All of the songs were performed live by a man who played guitar and sang. His wife is a nurse at the NICU. The readings were done by nurses that we requested. Our choices were Emma and Sandy, two nurses who took particularly good care of Sawyer, and to whom we still feel very close. We saw Sawyer's doctor as well, Dr. Susan Ramiro, who came and hugged us right away. She read the names of deceased children when we went outside to bless a butterfly bench that was created for the memorial garden at St. Francis. It is being hosted for the time being in the Children's Garden at Luthy Botanical Gardens, until the new NICU is finished at St. Francis and the memorial garden is set up there. The bench is really cool--very different from what I would have expected, and very much with a child's spirit in mind. After the blessing, there was an amazing butterfly release in honor and memory of our children, who will always be with us.

Dr. Ramiro

Just seeing Emma, Sandy, and Dr. Ramiro started us crying from the time we arrived. They sat and talked to us for a long time, and remembered Sawyer with us. They really miss him, too, and his death has been hard on them. They are really amazing women who have made such a difference in so many lives.

Sandy (left) and Emma

It was a very good day, and we're so glad we were able to go. My mom and dad and sister-in-law Sarah joined us, and they too had a very nice experience. It offered closure, as well as a release for our sorrow and a feeling of hope for the future. Butterflies were the theme, and the woman in charge spoke of how when a butterfly leaves behind the cocoon and flies away, they are not really dying, just becoming something even more beautiful and free . . .just like our children.

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