Wednesday, November 16, 2011


My friend, Jessica, recently started a blog.  She wrote consistently for a while, but hasn't had a new post in weeks.  Yesterday I told her I missed hearing her thoughts and feelings, and wanted her to post again.  Being new to the blog-o-sphere, she asked, "What do I blog about?" I told her to write about what she does, her home, her husband, her activities, what she enjoys, what she is passionate about... Basically, what's important to her.

I'm taking my own advice.

It may be venting, complaining, and all-out negativity, but it's how I feel. It's what's going on in my life.  It's what's important to me [and Ben].

I had a breakdown today... while I was at the Post Office, of all places.  A full-on cry-fest.  Over Eleanor.

Eleanor was born on Saturday, Sept. 10.  My mom made funeral/ burial arrangements for us that weekend, and we had a small gravesite burial service on Monday, Sept. 12.  It wasn't a horrible day, actually.  I took a lot of pictures and was still so proud to have given her a body.  I haven't even looked at those pictures, though.  I've been waiting for some more time to go by.  My goal was to process the event of her burial more fully when her grave marker was put in place.  I would take pictures of her plot and finally blog about her burial when all those pieces had been put together.

We were told to wait 4-6 weeks for her marker to be put in place.  At 6 weeks it still wasn't there, but I gave them a couple extra weeks of leeway before intruding myself.  I casually inquired a couple of times, but at the end of October Ben asked about the status of her marker while I was in Columbia.  They told him, once again, that they would call when it came in.

Today, over 10 weeks post-burial, her marker still isn't there.  I called myself this time, and was told that the order had never been placed.  Had we not been called? No.  I was told that they didn't even realize it hadn't been ordered until Ben came to their office.  Well, he visited on Oct. 28, but the marker wasn't even ordered until a full week later!

I was given this news over the phone while mailing packages at USPS. I broke down in the middle of the transaction.  Luckily, I really like everyone I've met at their office, and the woman helping me was really kind. She, too, had had a stillborn baby.

She passed me a box of Kleenex and asked what was wrong. I'm sure she wasn't prepared when the first thing out of my mouth was, "My daughter died a couple of months ago..."

In addition to it being my goal for "moving on", I have been looking forward to seeing her grave marker for many reasons.  Her cemetery is down the road from our Post Office in one direction, and from church in the other direction, so I visit when I mail stuff for uVinyl (at least once or twice a week), and on Sunday afternoons with Ben.  Every time we go I *HOPE* her grave marker is there because I fervently want to see her name written out in weather-and-time-proof metal and granite.  I want her to be official.  I want her place to be official.  I want to have a designated vase for fresh flowers.  I want to add some loving words in vinyl.

I know this isn't my fault, but it feels so personal.  I feel like a neglectful mother. My child is in a nameless grave. She was, literally, forgotten. By multiple people, including me, for not checking up sooner.  I think I've handled our loss as well as could possibly be hoped for, but her being forgotten is something I can not stand for or let go.  All day I've started crying whenever I think about it.  It feels like the worst part... Like she was worth so little... And that's not ok.

How would you feel? 

 The view as you drive in to her cemetery

I love this bright tree right in front... 

There is even a beautiful pond in the cemetery, which I love. I think Eleanor loves nature.

They call the area where the babies are buried "Babyland". 
See the cluster of flowers around the trees toward the fence?

This shows the windchimes and Easter Eggs that have been tied to the trees in the middle of Babyland.  There are a lot of little toys, etc., for the children here.  It's sweet. 

Eleanor's spot is the one with the hay over it...

By the time her marker is added the ground will be frozen.  It will probably be snowing.  It makes me really upset to think of waiting until Winter to see her name.  I want her to see her name. 



  1. Wow. First off, you are an amazing writer. I can't imagine what you are going through and just reading your words and imagining your situation is enough to bring me to tears. I hope Eleanor gets her marker soon, and I hope that does bring a sense of peace to you. I'm also glad the lady at the Post Office was nice and could relate to you somewhat. Anyway, sorry to ramble. I think you are amazing. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Susannah, I'm so sorry. I love you so much. You are not a neglectful parent and you did not forget her and never will. (Frustrating how some people can treat something so meaningful as a thing of naught.) I know you love her and, more importantly, so does she and Heavenly Father. You ARE a wonderful, kind, loving, spiritual, thoughtful and amazing mother and you will be blessed. I just love you tons. So sorry....

  3. Susannah, I don't know what to say. Except that what you have said is powerful. You have always had such a way of bringing your emotions out in your speech and writing, and saying what you truly feel. I believe it is one of your greatest strengths. Eleanor could not have been born to a better mother, to a better woman, and I know your reunion with her will be sweet. God bless you both!

  4. Susannah - My heart has just been broken for you and Ben. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love how you said how proud you were to have given her a body though. That is a pretty amazing gift. The headstone will be a good sight to see. Thinking of you...

  5. What a lucky little girl to have a mom like you who cares so much. It will get written and she will always be remembered. :-)

  6. I'm so sorry it still hasn't happened. It's amazing how seemingly simple things can help us deal with events that are so much bigger. I'm glad you have this outlet to help a little. I can't wait to see pictures when her headstone is in place. It would make a nice Christmas present, wouldn't it?

  7. I'm so sad for everything you have been going through and glad it is finally getting resolved. I remember having a breakdown in a pharmacy a few years ago when one of my babies was in the NICU. Most people tried to ignore me, but one woman just sprung into action to help me. I can't remember what that woman looked like, but I remember how she made me feel in my time of crisis.

    I'm glad Eleanor's marker is on the way. I had a brother, Ryan, who died at three days old. As far as I can remember, he didn't have a marker for several years because my parents couldn't afford one. He had a plastic thing that faded away until they could get him a stone. I imagine my mom felt a lot like you when they finally could get that stone in.

    Hang in there.


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