Something tangible

I promise a post with some vacation pictures soon – they’re being a bit fiddly.

In the meantime, I wanted to share my new piece of jewellry.  It just arrived, and I’m quite enamoured of it.

We are very fortunate (depending on how you count these things) to have been given some mementos in the hospital when Ezra was born.  Our hospital routinely sends bereaved parents home with a gift box full of items, prepared by the hospital volunteer association. We were given the blue knitted hat, booties and flannel gown that Ezra wore, the blanket he was wrapped it.  A small white teddy bear.  A card with his birth date, time and weight recorded right underneath his hand and footprints.  A sheaf of photographs.

It breaks my heart to think about volunteers knitting impossibly tiny hats for the lost children whose parents they will never meet.  It breaks my heart even more to imagine the storage area in the hospital where they must keep those boxes.  Somewhere in the high risk birthing unit there must be a closet shelf holding a stack of white boxes, marked with either a pink or blue star.  The mothers whose babies will wear those little caps and gowns are probably still happily pregnant – they have no idea what’s going to go wrong.  No idea that they’ll be leaving the hospital with trinkets instead of a baby.  Somewhere in the hospital the little hats wait, grief in suspense.

But oh, I’m glad to have those things.  While a horrifyingly awful substitute for a squalling infant in a car seat, that box gave me something to put my hands on in the days and weeks to follow.  At first I looked through it every day, just to feel cloth that had touched my son’s skin.  To look at the evidence – those sturdy little feet existed, the footprints prove it.  Now I find that I don’t need it all the time, but I still need something to hold.  I had this made:


Something to carry with me as I move forward and away from these days.  Something tangible.


About tamarainwriting

I'm a queer, married, child and youth counsellor, in Toronto, Ontario. My wife and I had a beautiful stillborn son and we have an amazing one-year-old daughter. It's a complex journey.
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5 Responses to Something tangible

  1. beautiful…the writing and the necklace both. Froggy and i both wear necklaces that symbolize little sun, and i haven’t taken mine off since i got it. eventually there will be tattoos.

    • Oh, tattoos are a great idea. I’m thinking about it myself (it doesn’t take much in the best of times to convince me to get a tattoo). It just needs to be the right one, and I don’t know what that looks like yet.

  2. Camille says:

    Beautiful, tangible reminder of your sweet son. I’m still sending you positive energy for the days ahead.

  3. ashley72788 says:

    Devan and I had our sons foot/hand prints tattooed on us and I still to this day sleep with the blanket he was in (still unwashed) He will always be apart of me, forever. Where did you get that necklace? I would love to get one as well!

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