The baby died. Just like that, the cord wrapped itself around the baby, still unborn with a month to go before birth, the baby died.
We have young friends. Very young. In fact, mom was just 18 and dad not much older. They were happy, doing OK when pregnancy happened as it does. They were self-supporting, working, in love and doing well.
On Friday, mom knew something was wrong. On Sunday, they both went to the hospital. They learned what had happened. Labor was induced and on Monday, their daughter was stillborn.
Tuesday was for beginning recovery and starting to make necessary arrangements. Who, at 18, ever thought they would have to make funeral arrangements? Where do you start? Who can help? How much is it going to cost? How are we going to do this?
With help from relatives, the youngsters arranged a visitation on Thursday night and burial on Friday. To bury their baby who never was alive.
The room where the visitation was had a tiny platform up front with a tiny coffin not much bigger than a shoe box. Music was playing and photos of the once happy parents to be were on a television set so all could see.
The funeral was attended by relatives, on a sunny morning that should have been filled with plans and maybe sorting through new baby clothes and toys. Instead it was filled with sorrow, not just by parents, but by grandparents, sisters, brothers and cousins.
Then they went home and looked at the new baby’s room, newly painted, made pretty and new for the baby’s arrival. A crib, a changing place, mobiles, toys and new baby clothes. All there for a baby who would never arrive. What is to be done with the room and all the baby things? And when will it be done. Now? Later? Keep it. Sell it? Give it back to the givers? What happens now?
And suddenly the family and guests are gone. The food gifted to them is gone. Living has to happen again. Both mom and dad have to go back to work.
And it’s only Sunday.