September 26, 2008
Losing a pregnancy this far along has been all around sucky, but I'd have to say that one of the worst parts has been the fact that we have to get a funeral home involved.
I'm twenty-seven years old. In my opinion, I should have to make trips to The Gap, the Dairy Queen, and that damn freaking office where you beg them to cancel out your parking tickets--not the funeral home.
We walk past this particular funeral home often--as you may recall--and every time I do I think, "Gosh, I hope I don't have to do business with them for a looooong time." Or "Jared's gonna be a crabbiest old man in the world when he dies. It probably won't be so bad to drop him off."
But yesterday evening, when we pulled in and actually parked in the lot, all I could think was, "Oh my word, this isn't really happening."
But unfortunately, it was.
I actually walked up those steps with my own two feet, into the corridor, and took a seat in the very outdated office. I listened hazily with my own two ears as words like "cremation" and "medical examiner" and "complimentary flower arrangement" lazily bounced from wall to wall. All the while, I tried to listen, I honestly did, but my brain could only seem to make sense of my own repeating thought: Why didn't I take an Ativan before we came here?
But as the conversation progressed, I couldn't help but notice something. That very sore muscle, otherwise known as my heart, slowly began to unclench. As the conversation evolved from final arrangements into common people we know, my breaths deepened and my fingers, which had been pried to the sides of my folding chair, found their way to lap. Maybe it was the comfort in knowing that all of the formalities of this situation would be over within twenty-four hours, or maybe it was the fact that the owner of the funeral home seemed to treat his career as more of a calling...
Either way, I felt okay.
And when Jared asked how much we owe, and I heard the owner say, "Nothing. We don't charge anything for children," I think I felt myself smile for the third time in a week. As much as I hate to admit this, the happenings of this week--minor as they might seem--have the real potential to leave us in financial shambles. We have high deductible health insurance, we seem to owe a check to every healthcare provider on this planet, and don't forget--we just opened up our own practice.
If I had the money for a Greyhound Transit ticket, I swear to Buddha that I'd hop a bus to Washington, put on a pant-suit, sneak onto the Senate floor, and somehow work "The Lawson Family" into the nation's financial bail-out plan.
...Lehman Brothers, AIG, The Lawsons, Washington Mutual--I don't think it calls too much attention to itself, do you?
The real point of this story is that the hard work, compassion, and generosity of the funeral home director touched my heart deeply. So much, that when I picked James up, the first thing I said to my father-in-law as he rounded the corner into the kitchen was, "You know, when you die I'm definitely taking you to Robertson's Funeral Home. And I don't care what you say, I buying you the fanciest casket they've got." Then I turned to my mother-in-law, pointed my finger at her chest, and said, "That goes for you, too."
We all laughed.
Then they booted me out of their house with an armful of hot food and a chocolate cake made from scratch.
In closing, I'd like to thank everyone who has lightened our load with a cake, a call, a gift, a kind word, or a "put your checkbook away." If I haven't had the chance to thank you personally, please know that it's only because the world is a very good place, and I'm absolutely overwhelmed with the outpouring.
This entire experience has left me yearning to be a gentler, kinder, more generous and thoughtful person. So if you need anything--anything at all--call me. I owe the universe approximately 10,001 good deeds, and I'd like to give one to you.