Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time to Remember and Give Thanks

Husband and I went to a memorial service in September for parents/families of children who died. Held in the auditorium at the hospital, it was beautiful, moving, and I cried lots. The registration table held many many individual packs of tissues as well as the registration materials. These people were ready for me.

The program artwork featured butterflies and dragonflies, with a poem on the inner cover that set me sobbing just reading it through:
Like the butterfly who lights beside us
like a sunbeam -
for a brief moment
its glory and beauty
belong to our world -
but then it flies on again.

And though we wish it could have stayed
we are so thankful to have seen it.

There was music played by hospital staff - cello, violin, keyboard and 2 voices - doctor, security guard, and 3 music therapists, more music - by Hugworks, Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill, a welcome by the bereavement coordinator, a Call to Remember, read by a chaplain, "I Believe" performed by Hugworks, a physician's tribute read by one of the doctors, "I Know Your Names"

Then the remembrance, where a staff person read names while pictures were projected on the screen at the front. The names were in groups of 10. The photos showed the children... the smallest a tiny tiny premie whose hand was maybe the size of a quarter, fingers wrapped around his daddy's index finger, the oldest my Margret.

My husband sat next to me, but on my other side, I sat next to a girl of about 7 or 8 years. She had been sitting with her Grammy and Mom in the row behind, but moved forward a row to sit next to her cousin. Her baby brother was among the lost. When his name was read, both she and her mother screamed and cried aloud. I patted her back, and gave her a tissue. When tears ran freely down my cheeks at my daughter's photo and name, she patted my knee and whispered to me, "Don't cry, you'll be OK."

After the names came a reading of "We Remember Them", from Gates of Prayer, "If I Could" performed by Hugworks, a reading of "Waterbugs and Dragonflies" a story of metamorphosis

Afterwards, there were helium filled butterfly balloons, was space where the parents could get together and talk, and have coffee and snacks. I chatted with the mothers of two young ladies who died of cancer, ages 22 and 23.

I tried to write about the memorial before, and kept dissolving into tears. It didn't help me that husband found the particular arrangement of Over the Rainbow/Wonderful world medley that they did - it's on youtube, by Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole - and played it multiple times. (probably because there are many versions of it on youtube) It's beautiful, but it makes me cry. Here are a couple versions...



1 comment:

femail doc said...

I'd never heard of IZ before, my goodness no wonder you cry every time you hear this music. Beautiful. Thanks!