Grief Journey Q & A, Pt. VI
Compiled by Kota Discussion Group

In Honor and Loving Memory of Our Children

Editor's Intro:
Welcome to Part VI of our Grief Jouney Q & A. The content here is generated from an online discussion and support group for bereaved parents. The creator of this Grief Journey Q & A is Stephanie Marrotek who posts questions once a day or once a week and invites all members of the discussion group to post answers. In addition to answering on the group, some members have elected to share their insights in a more public way through this column. Our hope is that you will find some spark of inspiration or comfort or help here. These words are not offered as prescription for the ways we "should" handle grief. These are just insights into how others are managing day by day after the death of a child.

The Q & A

Question 1: How often do you visit her child's resting place?

We visit once a week, sometimes I visit more... ~Christine

Everytime that we go "back home" for a visit. We live 8 hours from her resting place. ~Stephanie

Dakota's ashes are here at home with me in a small marble urn. I keep it near my bed on an old two tiered end table that belonged to my Nona. I keep his blanket, a few toys, and a vase full of the dried flower petals from his funeral on that table with the urn. ~Kara

Charles' ashes rest in an urn next to my bed. I visit with him every night before I go to bed. ~Katie

I haven't been back to Lily's resting place since her funeral. I think about it alot but we are still in the process of having the stone made and installed and I am terrified that I won't be able to find her. Does that make any sense? I would really like to spend time there and take the boys but I really need, for my stupid human mind, for there to be a marker there. ~Melanie

We had Raeyn cremated. Since last year we had her placed on a shelf that we bought for our living room. I wanted everyone to acknowledge her when they came to our home. This shelf unit also holds her momento's and pictures,ect. Recently, we have moved her into our bedroom. We placed a shelf over the place where her little brother's crib will be. She will be his guardian angel. ~Keny


Question 2: Does it bring you any comfort or just sadness to visit your child's resting place?

Sometimes it does bring me comfort because this is as close as I can get to her physical body.... sometimes I can't believe its her name and this even happened, I am just stunned.... and then sad... Its a mix. ~Christine

Mostly just sadness, I usually go there and cry. ~Stephanie

Depending on the day, my mood, recent events, phase of the moon, and which planet is rising (ha ha), it brings me comfort sometimes, and other times sadness. But more than anything, I could not bare the thought of having him apart from me. There simply was no other choice but to have his ashes at home with me where I could see them any time. ~Kara

It is a comfort to know his ashes are with me, but at times it brings me sadness to know he's not physically here. ~Katie

For a long time it made me very, very sad to think about it because I actually thought of her body being there. Remember in Dear Chey when Joanne says that she tried to go dig her up when it started raining one night?? That's exactly my feeling about her grave. ~Melanie

Having Raeyn at home brings me alot of comfort. I know she's "really" not at home with us but a part of her is. ~Keny


Question 3: Do you have many family or friends that visit your child's resting place?

Outside of my immediate family.... none....only my mom came to the funeral... no one else thought it was worth it... I think that makes me the saddest when I visit... remembering that day...and the lack
of family. ~Christine

I don't really know. I know my mom put flowers on her grave on memorial day. But other than that, I don't think so. ~Stephanie

Everyone who comes to our house and into the bedroom sees it. Some people make no comment anymore. Some people acknowledge it. Depends on situation, I guess. When my mom visits, I'm sure she'd want to see it and add to it. But if it's just a friend whose used to seeing it and is just hanging out with me for the day or something, then they don't even realize it's there usually -- like it isn't weird or anything -- just part of my life and our room. ~Kara

My Mom lives with me, so she is always able to visit with Charles, too. My friend, Michie, will come over at times, and we'll admire his urn and the keepsakes with it. ~Katie

I know that my mom has been there a couple of times and that my mom in law and my husband's grandmother and his sister have been there to visit. I hope that one day very soon it will be a place of peace for me to go and remember Lily and celebrate her life without having to worry about what people think or say (I mean what do people really expect of people hanging out at cemetaries in the Children's Garden -- sometimes I enjoy low expectations). ~Melanie

No, we do not have any close family members. ~Keny


Question 4: If you lost your child due to miscarriage...Do you feel cheated you didn't get a burial or memorial service?

Yes... with Mackenzie and the twins Peyton and Jamie I do feel cheated. Back in 96, my family really pushed me into believing they meant nothing... just forget and go on. Not until I lost Nora, did I
realize I never grieved for them....and that is when I named them. I wish I knew then what I know now and I could have done something for them. ~Christine

[My son] was born full-term, so I had the opportunity to have a funeral service for him. ~Katie

I didn't have a miscarriage, I had a stillbirth but in a way I do feel cheated because sometimes, I wish I had an outside place to visit her or take family to visit her. Also, we truly never had a "service" to be able to say goodbye. She was cremated and we picked up her ashes and brought them home. ~Keny


We'll have more Q & A in 2004...

About the Kota Discussion Group
This is a discussion and support group held online thru the free services of Yahoo Groups. Stephanie Marrotek is the host of the Grief Journey Q & A. The full group is moderated by the staff of KotaPress. The answers given in this Q & A were offered by the generous hearts of the members of our online group. We cannot thank you enough for your candor and honesty.

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