Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Letting Go

Today, my husband brought home Caleb's urn. We choose to have our son cremated, because at the time of his birth I was not able to decide where I wanted to bury him.

I have moved a lot over my lifetime, and we are still not settled in a place permanently. I don't feel that I have anywhere to call "home", and it is difficult for me to think of burying Caleb in a place that I may not return to. We thought that by cremating him, we would have more time to decide what we wanted to do with his remains. But it has been nearly two months, and I still can't bring myself to make that decision.

I knew that the day Caleb's urn came home would be a hard day. One of the most difficult parts of this journey was letting go of his body. Leaving the hospital, leaving him there knowing that it would be the last time I would see him, was one of the worst moments. I couldn't even bring myself to look at his urn for a few hours after my husband brought it home, because I knew that when I did, Caleb's death would become final. When I did, I cried just to see it. I guess I never realized how small the urn would be--I have never seen one, let alone one of an infant. It broke my heart to realize that all that's left of my sweet baby is a small, white box that I can hold in my hand.

Now that I have Caleb's urn in my possession, I don't know if I will ever be able to bring myself to part with it. Maybe it sounds strange to keep such a thing (before Caleb, I thought so), but it's all I have of him. Those few momentos--his ultrasound pictures, his handprint and footprint, his hair clipping, the blanket he was wrapped in, and his ashes--they are all that I have of him, and they are so precious to me. How can I possibly let them go?