You may remember last month when I made dinner for a young pregnant woman at church who'd been put on bed rest. Unfortunately, the story didn't have a happy ending. Despite the best efforts of the parents, the doctor, and the hospital, the baby was born much too early and much too small. He lived 25 hours, and passed away last Friday.
The baby had been buried earlier in the week, but today they had a memorial mass. It was the first time I've ever been to a service for someone who wasn't an adult, and a 'first' I wish I hadn't had to do. I've known the baby's fraternal grandmother and grandfather for almost 25 years, and the baby's father went to school with one of my boys. I didn't know the baby's mother until several years ago, but now I also know her mother and father (and her grandmother and grandfather) too. All of them looked shell shocked.
The service was very comforting. Many of the people who were at the mass were parishioners, and I knew most of them by name or face. It was nice to be surrounded by so many familiar people. During the homily the priest offered reassuring and uplifting words, and the liturgy's music was soothing.
Afterwards the parents, grandparents, and great grandparents lined up in the back of church so people could express their condolences. It was difficult to go through that line and talk with all the grieving people; what do you say?
On the way out I got a holy card that listed the baby's birth and death dates that I can keep for a remembrance.
Five years ago today: Sunless