I remember sitting in the funeral home, the day after I was released from the hospital. I was asked if I wanted some hand prints done of Beau. I remember being under the influence of narcotic pain medication and in a daze, but I remember clearly being asked if I wanted some hand prints. I was re-assured that if it was too hard to look at them then, they would keep them on file for when I wanted to pick them up later. I remember also they wanted to sell me some keepsakes - particularly "thumbprint" jewelry, etc. I said, "Yes please, do the hand prints."
This whole time, it's been in the back of my mind that the funeral home has these supposed hand prints. I've considered calling them, or dropping by, to pick them up. However, something inside of me said to wait until I can handle the fact that they don't have them....somehow I knew. I called yesterday, and the woman said, "Yes, I remember, and I'll have those prints ready for you. We usually reserve those for the keepsakes, but yes, I'll have them ready." I said okay, still not convinced they had them on file. In fact, about 20 minutes later, the phone rings, and the caller id said The Monarch Society - it was the funeral home calling. I answered, and she introduced herself, and said, "I have here on file that we already gave the hand prints to you." I said, "No, I would know if you had. I don't have them anywhere. I know it, I do NOT have them, ANYWHERE." She apologized. I quickly got off the phone and Sam walked around the corner and I started sobbing to him, "I knew it! I knew it, I knew it, they don't have them, and I knew it!" Then I flung myself on the bed and sobbed some more.
Everything we have and have gotten from the hospital and from the funeral home, we immediately put in a safe place, in the SAME place. We have the footprints that the hospital did when he was born, but no hand prints. I have looked at Beau's memory box a million times since March. I smell his blanket and kiss the little knit that he wore. I touch his tiny footprints, inked onto the paper, next to the little locket of hair. I hold his pictures to my chest and sleep with the little teddy bear that the hospital gave me. The teddy bear touched Beau. And for me it's some kind of connection to him, and I sleep with the little bear clutched close to my heart, every single night. And so, I would know if we had hand prints. But we don't. I think they must have made a terrible error.
I desperately wish for those hand prints, yes. But what I want, and deeply long for obviously, is my son. I absolutely hate when I come across things that are "one more thing to mourn". There was a day that I realized that not only was I missing my son, but that HE was also missing THIS LIFE, this time with his parents, experiencing summer, ice cream, doggies, parks, grass, laughter, sunshine, rain, mountains, etc. That was a hard day. My support group facilitator had emailed me to ask how I was doing, and I told her that recent realization, and she responded, "I know, it's a bitter pill to realize how much Beau got ripped off too." So true.
Well, I'm off to ride rollercoasters with Emily, and screaming appropriately.