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Compassionate Friends…

www.miamiherald.com

4/26/08…article…

A lesson of loss…

a personal story of loss and an organization called…

Butterflies from Heaven Foundation… James H. Burnett lll

One of those stories that punches certain readers in the gut…

the gut of hitting home on a level of shared pain…belonging to a “club” you wished you did not belong to…

Well I belong to that “club” …for the last 26 years…

That club…those who have lost a child….

For me …every year without even thinking about it…it overcomes me…

it’s something deep within your soul…that must be like a dormant alarm clock…your own personal..”Ground Hog Day”…the movie..where you wake up to the same day over and over again…thankfully over the years…there is the “kindness” of it occurring yearly instead of daily….

It starts on March 30th….and continues to gnaw away until April 2nd…no matter where I am in my life…location…inviolvement…no matter what…

Each and every year I relive the most horrible event in my life…having a stillborn daughter…my first child…through what was called by the doctors and the pathologists…the “bad hand of fate”.

Never did like that saying…never thought it would apply to me…and never to my child.

I had a speedy conception…normal pregnancy…and no inkling that anything would not be as it was supposed to be…

Then an odd thing happened…

I watched a show…on television…about what to do if you have a stillborn…why ..I do not know…the timing…looking back …unexplainable…

it talked of what to do…and not to do…

Days later…I thought something is wrong…but played games in my head…it’s nothing..I told myself…

My normal appointment….and it’s nothing …was definitely something…no movement..no sound…just a vacuum opening up…a series of calls…assembling family…doctor…hospital staff…

No memory of getting from point A to point B….

The baby is dead…no heartbeat…

What I recall…the television show…what to do…what not to do…

No maternity ward…so you do not hear the other babies…and no nurse makes the mistake of asking you what you had… check…

Hold the baby…so you can say goodbye…take a picture if possible…

After 2+ days of induced labor…held the baby…the perfect baby.. LIndsey Illene….forgot to take the picture…how could I forget to take the picture?…I ask myself that every year from March 30- April 2nd…

What the television show did not tell …your body thinks the baby was born..and does all that it would do if that was the result…how cruel…

Put an obituary in the paper…it will save you from the inevitable questions afterwards on the sidewalks of your town…”What did you have”…it certainly cut it down…but not completely…

As the article in the Herald explained ….all sympathy…all attention is on the mother…the fathers…are to buck it up…and they are suffering too…

The article is for that…Butterflies from Heaven Foundation…

in Illinois…a group quite the same……called Compassionate Friends…the group who feels your pain…in their guts…belonging to that “club”….

These fellow club members…understand…as only they could…and in the midst of that pain…bring hope…especially from those that faced it years ago…

they have children…they have lives…and they offer a world where eventually…

although you are still a lifetime member…with that dormant alarm clock for a few days every year…

you are blessed with the children you cherish more than you might have …if you were not a member…

who’s endless nights of being sleep deprived….. terrible two’s…teenage angst…twenty-something going where years…are enhanced to a level where nothing is taken for granted….

So here it is …April almost over…and I am safe…until next March 30th…when it will be “Ground Hog Day” for the 27th time….

To James and his wife…. the healing will come….

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