Mylah is no different. Before her Trisomy 18 diagnosis I started to prepare myself for this new addition. I had a checklist of all the things I needed to try & accomplish before her arrival and to prepare for her birth. Things like decluttering the house, updating the bathroom, paying off the rest of my credit cards, and of course saving some extra money. With the exception of updating our bathroom, I've pretty much accomplished everything.
Last week the Walk With Me team came for what was our last visit before Mylah's arrival. We discussed the baby shower, my 3d ultrasounds, our birth plan and lastly our wishes & arrangements in the event that Mylah passed away. Now honestly, I hadn't really thought of any "arrangements" because that hadn't been my focus in a long time. However, it is something that needed to be discussed.
Juwan & I hadn't sat down to talk about the "what if" and what we would do. On Friday, I took the initiative to make an appointment with a funeral home. Just to see what the prices were for funeral services. Juwan and I did decided that if GOD calls Mylah home that she would be cremated & brought home with us. The decision about a memorial/funeral service can wait. When I contacted the funeral home I must admit I was a little nervous about what would happen. I was really hoping that I could do the consult over the phone because lets face it, who wants to go to a funeral home? When I called to make the appointment the secretary asked who passed away. I began to explain my reason for calling and immediately she expressed that although they would assist me with whatever I needed, she would be praying that I would not be needing their services at all. She really calmed my nerves. We were scheduled to meet with someone at 3:00 that afternoon.
Initially, I was going to go to the visit myself. I didn't want to put Juwan through any additional stress, but I was afraid that he would be upset & I didn't want him to think I wasn't including him in decisions that could possibly involve our child.
We arrived at the funeral home & I could feel the anxiety building up the closer I got to the door. When I stepped in the door, to my surprise a sense of calm came over me. It probably was the fact that the foyer was blocked off from the rest of the establishment and all that was visible was a soothing waterfall. I didn't hear Mahalia Jackson's "Trouble of The World" playing or the sound of a old church organ, just the trickle of the fountain. The foyer actually resembled a upscale hotel lobby. We stepped inside and were greeted graciously by one of the employees who then escorted us to the lower level to meet with a funeral director.
This is a serious thing, but I can usually find a little humor in most situations. When the young man was escorting Juwan and myself to the lower level I remember thinking "Now wait a minute, where is he taking us? The basement? Is this where the bodies are? " I had to laugh at myself.
We met with the funeral director who was very pleasant, understanding and also expressed that she hoped the information she gave us wouldn't be needed. She continuously expressed her faith in GOD and miracles and that she'd be praying our baby would defy all the odds she had had against her because GOD had the final say. She took us to the room where they displayed the different caskets and showed us 3 baby caskets and gave us the prices. I just kept thinking to myself "it takes a special kind of person to do this job" She explained to us all the options that we had for cremation and memorials and just like that the meeting was over. She hugged Juwan and myself and wished us a good day, I'm sure in her profession "Hope to see you soon" isn't the proper way to say goodbye to her visitors.
Once we stepped outside I told Juwan it was okay to breathe. It was done and over with and it's out of the way. It seemed like he had been holding his breath the entire time.
I think the thing that kept me calm was that I said to myself, I'm here for just in case, most people come here because they HAVE to.
Although I know it's a possibility that GOD will call Mylah to be with him, just because I've visited a funeral home doesn't mean I'm giving up or speaking death to my child. Juwan and I need to make preparations while we are in a calm, clear thinking state. We also need to know how much we would be looking to spend in the event we need the services of the funeral home.
Most people don't make the necessary preparations and when they pass it leaves family members to scramble about trying to make preparations and & come up with the money needed to memorialize them. Death itself is stressful enough on loved ones, so why not get things in place in case it's needed so that situation doesn't add more stress to those who are left to deal with it.
Now that I have that out of the way. I know what to expect when I visit 2 more funeral homes. YES I said two more, do you buy the first car you see? No, you shop around and funeral expenses are no different.
While I'm trying to get that business in order we are still preparing for Mylah's birth and her arrival to be with us at home because I'm ready for my miracle.