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Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Tuesday evening was the Riley Hospital memorial service for children who died there between July and December 2009. We drove down as a family and took along the memory book that my sister made for us in September while we were living at Riley with Megan. When we got to the service we were signed in and given a memorial booklet. It showed the order of service, the shared reading passages, a couple of prayers -- and 83 precious names.

They invited us to decorate a square in honor of Megan. They posted them on the front wall together so that we could remember those that came to honor their children that night.

This picture shows what Meg's quilt squares looked like.

They welcomed everyone.
We had a shared reading passage.
They read a passage from Psalm 139.
There was a special reading for children from an adaptation of Ecclesiastes where there is a time for all types of feelings that may be felt throughout their lifetimes.

They read the names of all the children in the program while a soothing harp played. Meggie's name was 12th, alphabetically. They also added an 84th name throughout the reading. I couldn't stop myself from thinking that it felt like a graduation ceremony. But no one was cheering. I didn't want to cheer. It's the type of event where you don't want your child's name to be read but it's coming anyway. You wonder how it will sound when its your turn. How it will feel to hear your child's name. If they will wait long enough between names. Or, if the silence will seem too long between names. There were many tear-filled eyes in the room.

Then, they called the parents forward into a circle around the front table. They shared a poem and lit the four candles which represented the light our children were in our lives and that they will continue to be present in our lives even though they are no longer physically with us. Then, they presented all of us with a carnation as we went back to our seats.

After that, the service was concluded with a short reading and we were invited to have some refreshments and to share our pictures with others and mingle. We showed a couple of people our memory book of Megan and looked at pictures of other children.

We also spoke to the parents of the girl that passed away just a few rooms away from us in September. Monica played with the 22 year old girl in the play room the first week of September. The girl was discharged by the end of the week. We congratulated her for getting to go home. The parents thanked us for raising a daughter that looked beyond disabilities and treated their daughter normally. (Monica doesn't care if the person is big, little, deformed, have tubes in their arms, legs, nose, etc. If they are able to play with her, she would play with them.) About 10 days later the girl came back into the hospital. Two days after that, she was in heaven. I didn't know the exact date until I asked last night. It was 9 days before Megan left us. They thanked us for the discussions we had with them in September. They said the way we were making decisions for Megan helped them make the right decisions for their daughter.

In retrospect, it seems amazing how being available while traveling through situations can affect the lives of others around us just before they will be making similar decisions. God's preparations and timing are perfect even when it seems long and pointless at the time everything transpires.

After that, we went to our hotel for the night. We stayed in Indianapolis because we had a mission for the next morning.

To be continued...

P.S. - Sorry I said "Then," so many times!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the details of this precious night with the rest of us. It goes far beyond the other family in the hospital with you. You have touched far more people than you know.

Pam said...

I will be back to see the continuing story, Lori. I REALLY like this post. Our Meggie is soooo special to me. I love her more every day.

signingcharity said...

Beautiful. Really beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the service with us. I was really interested to hear all about it since I wasn't able to go. But know that your other baby - Kisses - was well taken care of and played with while you were gone.

Anonymous said...

Ed,Jane & Lydia:
Our daughter Lydia, 6 yrs old, has had a G-Tube for 4 years. It has been an incredible benefit, but still plenty of GI issues. Today she had an assessment as part of a comprehensive feeding program and their GI docs have recommended a GJ Tube. They gave us a quick run down and we’ll talk about it with our regular GI doc. As normal when we get any new recommendations, we did the quick internet search. We came across your website. It was perfect. Only a parent could speak so clearly and hit every relevant point. Thank you so much.

As we followed the thread we came across your loss. We wish there was something that we could say that could be helpful to you, as you have been for us by sharing your experience.