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Old 10-12-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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I'm sooo sorry for your loss, mama.

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Old 10-15-2007, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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James' memorial service was yesterday. I wish I could capture everything about it...some of what the reverend said, and all of what family and friends said, was especially meaningful.

I want to share what we do have, though...the prayer, readings, and our own memories we shared during the candle lighting ceremony. I don't know why, but I want to put it "out there" (here). Maybe it just feels good to talk about him, or to keep thinking about him.

In any case, this is all we have that was written for James' memorial:

Memorial for James
•Prayer by Aunt Marilyn:

Dear Lord, embrace James and grant him a place where peace and only peace can live, where music fills the air, and where the sun is always bright, and warm breezes blow gently and all is love.

You have called James to you and set him free from earthly cares. May he play happily in heaven, humming his favorite tunes,
having the cool waves splash over his toes, and showing all how fast he can run!

Help him find his way to the arms of those who love him and are waiting to embrace him. Let James snuggle is the arms of his
Nana as they share his favorite books, especially A Bushel and a Peck ! And Lord, bless James, love him, and protect him always.


I am the soft stars
that shine at night
Do not think of me as gone
I am with you still
in each new dawn.

•Reading from Plato’s Dialogs (Matthew)

A reading from Plato’s dialogues:

But the soul, the invisible part, which goes away to a place that is, like itself, glorious, pure, and invisible into the presence of the good and wise God – will it, if its very nature is such as I have described, be dispersed and destroyed at the moment of its release from the body, as is the popular view? Far from it. The truth is much more like this. If at its release the soul is pure and carries with it no contamination of the body, then it departs to that place which is, like itself, invisible, divine, immortal, and wise, where, on its arrival, happiness awaits it, and release from uncertainty and folly, from fears and uncontrolled desires, and all other human evils, it spends the rest of time with God.

•Guitar piece by Chris (El Dia de Novembre)
•Reading from The Little Prince (Molly)

From The Little Prince

In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh!

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure. And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky!

•Open portion of the service, when people can come up at share their memories of James

•Candle Lighting Ceremony: Michael and Elisabeth

[Michael and Elisabeth will stand at the front of the chapel and read the following:]

We’ve gathered together today to remember James. When we think of him, we think of the gifts he gave us. The unique perspective he gave us as parents, family, and friends. When we light these candles, we want to remember the best about James…the gifts he gave us in his lifetime, and the gifts we will always have because of him.

The first candle represents Joy

James was a joyful little boy. He had a smile that would light up your entire day, and it’s what people remember most about him. Simple things made him so happy. Splashing in the waves, running after his brothers, singing songs together. James’ happiness was so abundant, so genuine and full. Seeing a person so purely happy is rare, and a joy itself to see. James gave us that joy over and over again in his life, and we are thankful.

The second candle represents Gentleness

If James could have spoken, he never would have said a bad word about anyone. He was kind. All he ever wanted to do was to be happy and to be happy with you. His touch was gentle, his looks were gentle, and his kisses, little nudges with his forehead, were gentle. A lot of what he loved to do was quiet and peaceful: listening to music, looking out the front windows, reading books, and cuddling. He was a gentle little soul.

The third candle represents his love of Chaos

We called James Captain Chaos. He delighted in anything unexpected, sudden, or loud, and he seemed to have a sixth sense for locating chaos. Splashing in waves at the beach was an obvious example, but there were little every day things, too. Stub your toe? Drop a fork? Curse while balancing the checkbook? Even if he was out of the room, you’d hear him giggle. He also loved fireworks, baseball games, loud birthday parties, and the happy screams of kids running around the house. His own fearlessness seemed to come from his love of chaos…no matter his physical abilities, he would run full force into the activities he loved. Tripping was funny, despite the bumps and bruises, because it assured a loud bang. His delight at being surprised, and his laughter at little exclamations and misfortunes helped us to laugh at life, too.

The fourth candle represents Strength

Looking at James, his skinny little self, you might not think of strength. But if you look at everything he accomplished in his lifetime, and what he overcame, you can’t help but recognize his strength and persistence. James learned to crawl when he was two, walk when he was three, and run when he was four. Through years of seizures and two brain surgeries, James kept working, unfazed, to become the strong, capable boy that we knew this last year. He did it all with such a willing spirit, and he never seemed discouraged, never seemed to see a limitation. Watching him carry on, without complaint, made us so proud and gave us courage to face our own challenges.

The fifth candle represents Goodness

James had something we called “the look.” He would approach you and look right into you…connect with you, deeply, for a short special moment. It gave you a feeling of being so close to him, so loved. “The look” was the essence of James; warmth, kindness, love, and pure goodness. He was a beautiful boy in so many ways. The very name “James” evokes that beauty for us. When we say it or think it, all the pride and love, all the good things about James, are expressed and felt. We feel the goodness of him and how much we love him.

As we light our candles, let’s remember the special little spirit that he was. Let’s remember how much joy he gave us, how much laughter, and how much courage. Let’s smile to have known him, to have learned from him, and to have loved him.

Elisabeth and Michael will each light a candle and light the candles of the first person in each pew. Once all the candles are lit:

•Play song: In This Heart by Sinead O’Connor

At the conclusion of the song, Reverend H will close the candle ceremony with something like:
As we release the flame from our candles, we say goodbye to someone we loved. We say goodbye to James.
•[Closing prayer/blessing by Reverend H]

End of memorial service.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:19 PM
 
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It sounds like it was a beautiful service, people spoke straight from their heart...
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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I am so deeply sorry. He is beautiful.


 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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Old 10-15-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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What an amazingly beautiful service, I'm deeply impressed. I hope you found comfort in that....

~*The days are long, but the years are short.*~
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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I am so, so sorry for your loss, and all that your family is going through.

Peace.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Elisabeth, the following is a poem we read at every meeting of H.A.N.D. (Houstons Aid in Neonatal Death) It seems appropriate now

Quote:
We Remember ThemFrom the Gates of RepentanceNew Union Prayer Book for the Days of AweAuthor Unknown

At the rising of the sun and at its going down,
We remember them.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter,
We remember them.

At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring,
We remember them.

At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer,
We remember them.

At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn,
We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength,
We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart,
We remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share,
We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make,
We remember them
When we have achievements that are based on theirs,
We remember them.

As long as we live, they too shall live,
for they are a part of us, as we remember them.

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you. That is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins~
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:01 AM
 
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Oh Momma....I am sending love, white light, and healing vibes your way...there is no greater loss....s for your family....:

True Love is here....to stay!
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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Beautiful.....thank you for sharing.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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His service sounds wonderful, a true honor to your son. Hugs to you and yours.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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James

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear sweet James. I have been reading your posts, but nothing I write feels adequate. thinking of you though

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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I watched your memorial video for James from your siggy. It's so clear that not a moment was wasted, and the love in your family is abundant.

My heart goes out to you and your family. James has a beautiful sparkle in his eye in each picture. He must have felt so loved and happy every day of his life.

I wish you peace in your heart and happy memories.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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What a beautiful boy and lovely family. Sending hugs and peace your way.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:29 AM
 
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Beautiful boy. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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Old 10-17-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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My heart aches for you. He looks like my son. I can't even imagine.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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I am so sorry, mama. I wish words could express all the hope, love, hugs and support I am praying for for you.

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Old 10-18-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I am so sorry for your loss!
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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Elisabeth, I am so very sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how much it must hurt to lose a child.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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I'm very sorry for your loss, Elisabeth...
I'm praying for you and your family.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm feeling low today.

The worst moments hit when I come across something of James' unexpectedly. Something from our "old life." Today I was doing dishes, and I found one of his old oral syringes (for his epilepsy meds) in the pocket of a lunch bag. Silly little thing, and not really a fond memory (the meds), but it made me think about how long it had been there. I think we took his meds with us to the beach when we went at the start of September. Just a couple of weeks before he died.

It hurts, to think back to those times. We made family plans, trudged our way through the work week, and loved our weekends. We were so oblivious to what was coming, so innocent. Who thinks they're going to lose their five year old one sunny September afternoon?

Anyway, feeling down. I'm not sure how to handle it when I have a bad day, so I thought I'd come here and write a little. I suppose later I should call a friend. For now I just want to be sad, I guess, and not have anyone try to cheer me up.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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I am so sorry for the loss of your son James.

I will hold you and your family in prayer.

Take care!

Love and prayers,

Jen, mama to  (M-13, N- 10, C- 8 rainbow1284.gif J- 3.5, and rainbow1284.gifJ -2, angel3.gifA (10/4/07) and 3 early losses)
We are expecting baby #7 in November 2013

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Ya know, it's perfectly ok to be sad. You lost something very precious. You are going to have good days and bad days. But you will recover. Embrace your rights as a grieving mother.
Gossamer

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you. That is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins~
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I'm feeling low today.

The worst moments hit when I come across something of James' unexpectedly. Something from our "old life." Today I was doing dishes, and I found one of his old oral syringes (for his epilepsy meds) in the pocket of a lunch bag. Silly little thing, and not really a fond memory (the meds), but it made me think about how long it had been there. I think we took his meds with us to the beach when we went at the start of September. Just a couple of weeks before he died.

It hurts, to think back to those times. We made family plans, trudged our way through the work week, and loved our weekends. We were so oblivious to what was coming, so innocent. Who thinks they're going to lose their five year old one sunny September afternoon?

Anyway, feeling down. I'm not sure how to handle it when I have a bad day, so I thought I'd come here and write a little. I suppose later I should call a friend. For now I just want to be sad, I guess, and not have anyone try to cheer me up.
Hey, I haven't responded in this thread but I have been following your story.

I lost an infant and I think it is a totally different experience in many ways, but not in others.

I can tell you that we are over three years out now and the shocks are still fading - weird things, like the Christmas before she was born our family sent us a little stocking for her, and it ended up somehow in the Hallowe'en decorations and I found it last week and it really hurt.

In that case it was the memory of anticipating her, not of her. I think it must be much harder in some ways to have such a space in your family and days now.

My thoughts are with you today. Breathe and get through the wave as best you can.

I can tell you that for me the first six months everything seemed unreal except those moments - packing the nursery, finding a jar of baby food (from the baby shower) in the kitchen. Then the numbness faded and in some ways that next year was almost worse because I was feeling again, but the shocks were still new - the first anniversary of this and that other thing.

It truly comes and goes.

BTW you had asked about groups I think. This isn't a group but the book that helped me the most was "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." by Harold S. Kushner (I actually listened to his book on tape, and his voice was sort of soothing) This book was written by a rabbi after the loss of his son (I think his son was 12; it was to a genetic illness) and it was really powerful for me. I also did find some bereavement counselling to be helpful. I didn't find the groups quite as helpful but I think it depends on the groups.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have that book. I bought it last winter when I was so depressed (because of dealing with the boys' special needs). I never got around to reading it, but felt that I should have. I should go dig it out. Thanks for reminding me.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are hurting, mama. We are glad to support you, and no one here will tell you to cheer up. Sometimes, letting the sadness wash over you is what feels right. It is the very depth of your love for him which brings such depth of sadness.

I found those little things, the things that broadside you, hit you out of the blue, that can be the most painful. I hope that you can find some comfort, too.

I found that book helpful, and when my dad died last year I gave it to my mom.

mama.

~*The days are long, but the years are short.*~
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Old 10-29-2007, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone. I'm so glad there's a place to feel understood.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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I am so, so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you. You and your family will be in my prayers.
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:33 AM
 
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I just wanted to say that, having watched the video you made of pictures of James, it seems like that little boy smiled more in his 5+ years than many people do in a much longer lifetime. And it is so incredibly evident how much his family loved him & he loved his family. He looks smart and funny and thrilled to be a part of the world.

Sounds like you ushered him into a rich, joyful existence that he lived fully for the time that he was given. I imagine in some ways that makes it even harder, but you can tell looking at these pictures that he thought you were a wonderful mom.

Lisa

Loving Lucy Amelia
"light makes it better"
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:32 AM
 
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I'm so sorry.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Hi.

We lost our 5 year old son James last week Wednesday. We're still in shock, I think, because we seem to spend most of our time feeling pretty numb. It's been days since I've felt a strong emotion.

Have others here lost children around that age? I think any loss is horrible, I'm not looking to compare, I just would like to know if anyone out there has been in shoes like ours. No one I know in real life has lost a child.

I'm Elisabeth, by the way. We have two other sons--Ian, who is James' identical twin, and Noah who is 19 months old. James and Ian have a genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, and more or less it's what killed James. He had a horrible seizure that resulted in brain damage. We miss him terribly.

We're in the process now of planning his memorial, but we're also incredibly sick (literally), so it's not going very well. It's hard to find energy.
hugs mama. my heart is breaking for your loss. i used to caretake for a little boy who had tuberous scelrosis complex, and i know how hard it can be, but i can't imagine the pain of losing a child.
sending your lots of love.
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