We put a lot of thought into Marcellu's headstone, a lot. We picked the stone out two days after his funeral. I didn't remember what his stone looked liked because it had been so long. Plus we had chosen it at a time where we were running on auto pilot, I don't remember much from that time at all. I just remember that we agreed on the stone.
From the very start we knew we wanted something to do with Marcellus's song on his headstone. When I was pregnant Mike made up a lullaby that he sang to the baby every night. It goes,
"Goodnight little baby, goodnight.
The stars in the sky are shining bright.
Sleep tight little baby, sleep tight.
Mommy and Daddy love you with all their might!"
We sang it every night to him in the NICU and we continue to sing it to him every single night. It is his song. His lullaby. Daddy made it up just for him. To put the whole song on the headstone made it look very cluttered and too wordy. We opted to just just the second part. I guess it seemed fitting to use the words "sleep tight" now that Marcellus sleeps in eternity.
I was so so so nervous that I wouldn't like how Marcellus's stone turned out. But when Mike and I first went to the cemetery ourselves to see it, I was taken back. Now how could I find the words to say I love my son's headstone? It's hard to verbalize that because there should be no headstone to love. I should love my son's drawings to me, not what we came up with to etch into the stone that marks where his body is laid to rest. Here is a picture of Marcellus's stone.
And I love it. I have to say it even if it's hard to comprehend. The stone still needs to be set in cement and will need to be flush with the ground. I wish it could stay up like it is now, but unfortunately the baby section that he is in requires them to be level with the ground. It will still be beautiful. It is not your typical looking headstone. I like that. I like that it is something unique, special, and oh so meaningful just for my little squirmy wormy.
We had a prayer service and blessing of Marcellus's headstone. We invited family and had a good turnout. We first gathered around and explained to everyone the meaning behind each part of the design. The priest then took over and did the blessing of the stone. He used the same holy water that was used at Marcellus's baptism (that is quite a story itself, basically the priest in the hospital came without holy water and so we have kept the water that he blessed for the baptism).
this post. Acknowledgement of my baby boy. Acknowledgement of my pain. Acknowledgment of my motherly love. Acknowledgement that he was here and he is still with us. Acknowledgment. So important for grieving parents.
I don't know if I've said this before, but once I read somewhere another loss mom said something along the lines of...If you ask a question about my baby and it makes me cry, that just means you asked a good question. I really wish I could remember where I read that so I could have the rest of the context and give credit to that person. I'm sure it was on a blog. That part just really stuck with me though because it rings true in my heart as well. Never be afraid to ask me about my baby just like you wouldn't be afraid to ask me if he were living. You can't ask the same questions like "how is he doing today" but you can ask me what he was like, what it was like to be in that NICU with him, about his headstone, about things we still do for him today, about how much I love and miss that little guy. He can still be talked about and believe me, even if no one asks I will talk about him for the rest of my life!
Marcellus, I hope you like your headstone. We worked hard on getting it just right for you and I think it came out as well as a headstone can. It's all for you and you know what each one of those things on their means. It's extra special to have the part of your song in my handwriting. And those three stars, that's us...we are together forever. You are always with us here and one day we will come to you and really be together for eternity. Love and miss you baby boy. I hope you are sleeping tight. Mommy and Daddy love you with all their might! xoxox