Saying goodbye to Bow

Friday we had the services for Elias. I think that it wasn’t quite as hard on Jon as it was on me. I just lost it when I got there and saw him in that casket.

I keep wanting to call it a box because, really, that’s kind of what a child’s casket looks like, a plastic box or tote. If you’re reading this, I hope that you never have to know that firsthand.

It didn’t help that the makeup they had used on him was starting to dry out and he looked as though his face was dirty. They fixed it straight away. I watched the man do it. I honestly wanted to take it away and do it myself but I figured they might frown on that.

I did take a picture. I’ve never been one to do such things at funerals, but I thought I owed it to Henry, who definitely would not remember anything, and Noah, who might not remember a lot.

At first, Noah wanted nothing to do with Elias. Later, Noah would take breaks from his buzzing around the place to stop and talk to him. At one point, he pulled a chair up to the casket to talk to Bow.

I had previously made a disc of Bow’s life in pictures. Once they started playing, I found myself watching the pictures. It was easier than looking at his lifeless body. That is already permanently etched inside my mind just like the picture of the way he was when I first found him last Sunday. Those scenes will stay with me always.

Admittedly, I was very concerned about the music I compiled to play at the visitation. I was afraid that people wouldn’t get it, that they would think it was disrespectful somehow. I wasn’t going to do it originally, just let the mortuary pick out music. Then I realized that I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t just stand by passively as people we didn’t even know – granted very kind and caring people – just randomly chose music for my son’s memorial. So I pored over various lists and songs for I don’t even know how long Tuesday until I came up with what, I thought, was the perfect list.

The music, in alphabetical order:
Enya – “A Day Without Rain” (instrumental)
Five for Fighting – “All I Know”
Sarah McLachlan – “Angel”
Alison Krauss – “Baby Mine”
The Williams Brothers – “Can’t Cry Hard Enough”
Celine Dion – “Fly”
Meat Loaf – “Forever Young”
The Dixie Chicks – “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)”
Jeff Buckley – “Hallelujah”
Anastacia – “How Come the World Won’t Stop”
Eva Cassidy – “I Know You By Heart”
Chris Cornell – “I Promise It’s Not Goodbye”
Sarah McLachlan – “I Will Remember You”
Enya – “If I Could Be Where You Are”
The Beatles – “In My Life”
Billy Joel – “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)”
The Muppets – “Mah Na Mah Na”
Metallica – “Nothing Else Matters”
Apocalyptica – “Nothing Else Matters” (instrumental)
Diamond Rio – “One More Day”
James Blunt – “Tears and Rain”
Eric Clapton – “Tears in Heaven”
Faith Hill – “There You’ll Be”
Josh Groban – “To Where You Are”
Enya – “Trains and Winter Rains”
Randy Newman – “We Belong Together”
Kenny Chesney – “Who You’d Be Today”
Randy Newman – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”

All of those songs reminded me in some way of Bow or our situation. I think most of those songs are pretty self-explanatory. The Muppet and Toy Story songs are because he loved both the Muppets and Toy Story movies.

The minister did a good job of the service. I am so glad because one of my biggest fears for the funeral was that one of my last memories would be that of a horrid service. I’ve been to funerals like that, and they’ve always bothered me. I firmly believe that the respect you show a loved one after they’re gone is important – provided, of course, that they are deserving of that respect in the first place. And Elias certainly was.

The strangest thing was that, after the minister was finished and they cued the music back up, the song that played was “Can’t Cry Hard Enough”. Needless to say I lost it. I’m not sure that any of the other songs would have affected me in quite that manner, but that one just hit me so hard.

It was important for Jon to have Elias baptized before he was buried so we did.

Next, Jon and I closed the casket and carried him out to the hearse. We then went to the cemetery and, after a short prayer and a few words, said our forever goodbyes.

We buried Bow with his extremely well-loved – and tattered – train blanket, Ceili Fey’s Koko (Chuggington train) that was very much beloved by him, a telescope she had made for him, and his night-night cow. Papa George (my father) and Connie laid a pink bear next to him. Uncle Jason, Aunt Allie, and their children, Kaitlyn and Daniel, put in a Thomas train and some train pictures the kids had colored.

Before we left, I took a rose from the spray on the casket. One of my sisters is pressing it for me. Jon and I want a shadow box containing the rose, the lock of hair and scrap of blanket that we took.

I never thought I would bury a child.

We love you, Bow.

Updating on our week from hell

This Friday (9, March 2012) we will bury our son, Elias. We miss him so much.

I had such great plans for him. I was so sure he would grow up and do great things, touch many lives. I had no idea that it would be this way.

People have been wonderful. So many have brought food and things, including things for Ceili Fey’s birthday, which was Tuesday. Some people have even donated money. I am so grateful to them all. Even as much as this hurts, as painful as this is, and as devastated as I am, all of the support we have received has really renewed my faith in humanity.

Today family came over and brought supper. It was so hard to look at their son, just a few months younger than Elias, knowing that Elias should have been here, playing with his cousin. They always played so well together.

I learned earlier today that the coroner got some of the cultures back. Elias tested positive for RSV. Due to this, there was concern about the tests done Monday. The kids went back and had them redone this afternoon.

Here is what our week looked/looks like:

  • Monday: get all surviving children swabbed for RSV; go to accountant’s office because business taxes are due earlier than personal; go to mortuary and make arrangements, including casket
  • Tuesday: go to cemetery and pick out a burial plot
  • Wednesday: take Elias’ clothes to the mortuary; get children swabbed for RSV; pick out music for visitation 
  • Thursday: burn a CD with music to play at the visitation on Friday
  • Friday: be at mortuary at 11; visitation from 12:00 – 2:00; funeral at 2:00; come home; greet everyone coming back with us; after they go home, curl up in a ball and cry 

Here’s the music I have picked out. Hopefully it’s not too offensive.
In alphabetical order:
Enya – “A Day Without Rain” (instrumental)
Five for Fighting – “All I Know”
Sarah McLachlan – “Angel”
Alison Krauss – “Baby Mine”
The Williams Brothers – “Can’t Cry Hard Enough”
Celine Dion – “Fly”
Meat Loaf – “Forever Young”
The Dixie Chicks – “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” 
Jeff Buckley – “Hallelujah”
Anastacia – “How Come the World Won’t Stop”
Eva Cassidy – “I Know You By Heart”
Chris Cornell – “I Promise It’s Not Goodbye”
Sarah McLachlan – “I Will Remember You”
Enya – “If I Could Be Where You Are”
The Beatles – “In My Life”
Billy Joel – “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)”
The Muppets – “Mah Na Mah Na”
Metallica – “Nothing Else Matters”
Apocalyptica – “Nothing Else Matters” (instrumental)
Diamond Rio – “One More Day”
James Blunt – “Tears and Rain”
Eric Clapton – “Tears in Heaven”
Faith Hill – “There You’ll Be”
Josh Groban – “To Where You Are”
Enya – “Trains and Winter Rains”
Randy Newman – “We Belong Together”
Kenny Chesney – “Who You’d Be Today”
Randy Newman – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”

Here are the obits:
http://reporter.net/obituaries/x606742546/Elias-James-Kenworthy-Hause
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/indystar/obituary.aspx?n=elias-j-hause&pid=156338615
http://www.jconline.com/article/20120307/OBITS/120307023/Pending-obituaries-Thursday?nclick_check=1
http://www.myersmortuary.com/obituaries/894-elias-james-kenworthy-hause.html

My baby Elias is gone

This morning around 10:15 am, I found my beautiful baby, our three year old, Elias, dead in his bed. When we checked on him earlier, he was snoring. What happened between that time, we have no idea. What I do know is that this is something no parent should ever have to know.

IMG-20120101-00226
Elias loved when his sister would do goofy things with his hair

Bow (pronounced like take a bow), as he was known to his family, was such a sharp little fellow. Smart as a whip. I just knew he would grow up to do great things. Only, now he won’t.

P1010310
Noah (left) and Elias (right) loved playing robot with grocery sacks

Last night, Bow was playing the bathtub with his brothers. Today he’s gone. How do you wrap your head around that?

P1000525
Elias being read to by Ceili Fey
IMG_0245
Elias was a thumb sucker, mostly when tired or not feeling well

Noah just knows that his brother went to the hospital. He doesn’t get that Bow is not coming back. Ceili Fey gets it and she’s very upset. How do we comfort her? How do you tell a child that she won’t lose another brother – or her own life – because, apparently it does happen; it just happened. How do you explain to a child that her brother is gone and you just don’t know why?

Elias hospital pic

Noah is sleeping in Ceili Fey’s room tonight. Their choice. When I just went upstairs and Ceili Fey told me that she keeps waking Noah up every time he sounds phleghmy. She’s terrified she’ll lost him, too.

Jon went upstairs for awhile and check on Henry. Twice. It’s hard to put them down for nap/bed when we’re terrified they won’t wake up. Sure there’s that whole thing about lightning not striking twice but what were the odds of this happening in the first place?

I just don’t get it. We try to live right. We’re good parents. We care deeply for our children and do everything for them. We’re good people. We don’t do bad things to other people. Yet, something like this happens. Why? I don’t believe we deserved it. I know Elias didn’t.

P1000557
Elias was super excited about being a big brother again when Henry was born
(From left to right, my father, Henry, Elias, Ceili Fey, Noah)

Bow loved playing trains and would build very elaborate tracks stretching from our loft to the bedroom he shares with Noah.

IMG-20120119-00251

I miss him so much.

20 22
16
His laughter was infectious

I’m writing this because I don’t know what else to do with myself right now. Jon keeps asking me “What do we do now?” and I have no answer. I’m not sure I ever will.

Elias would have been four on 9, April. We were supposed to be celebrating his birthday, not planning his funeral.