Today as part of my training in becoming a stillbirthday birth and bereavement doula I visited the funeral home that we used for Carleigh. I have drove by the funeral home many times. I pass it every time I go to work, but I have never set foot back in there since her last visitation. It has been almost 4 years since I have been back there. Leading up to my assignment I admit I was a bit weepy. Just thinking of going back there brought up a lot of emotions and memories. The funeral home was very kind to us so there is nothing negative about our experience with them. It's just one of those things.
I was surprised that it went much better than I expected. Upon entering the building the first thing I noticed was the smell. It smelled the same way it did back then. It was oddly comforting.
The funeral director I spoke with was the one that I gave Carleigh to after we left the hospital and I reminded him of that. He was very nice and receptive to everything and even contacting me if a family is in need of birth/bereavement support once I complete my doula training. As we were talking about what they offer and what parents choose he mentioned that a mother several years ago even kept her baby with her overnight at the hospital because she was not ready to let go yet and needed more time with her baby. I'm like, "uh, yeah, that was me." :)
So, even 4 years later I'm still working on getting through the "firsts". (Maybe this is the last one??) I do think that if I had visited earlier in my grief it would have been more difficult but I'm in a better place. I've had healing and perspective on my side, but even with that it doesn't erase the missing. Visiting today has magnified the missing.
I have grasped at the memories of those moments with her there that we had-the heart-shattering goodbye, dressing her, holding her, the visitation. I have the need to remember more since this is the month of her birthday and it's fast approaching.
My little girl would be four. ♥
6 days ago