Thursday 7 October 2021

What do you dress the baby in?

A friend came to lunch yesterday and I gave her two lengths of very fine silk fabric. They had been given to me the previous day to pass on to someone who makes "angel gowns" - tiny items of clothing for deceased babies. 

I have never seen the finished items but I have reason to believe they are made with great skill, great care - and love. They matter to her and they matter to those to whom they are given.

I have seen other such items. One I saw was actually embroidered at the neckline with exquisite little flowers. Another had a tiny length of lace at the neck. 

There are people who will say "why bother?"  Do they not know that the parents are grieving? 

At the state's annual show the Handicrafts section has a class called "Memory Boxes". They are donated and then passed on to the Women's and Children's hospital here. One year we had a box donated that was covered in fabric. The whole thing had been made by hand with tiny stitches. It must have taken many hours to make. The woman who made it had lost a child herself. It had been many years before but I saw her eyes fill with tears as she mentioned the child who did not survive. 

My paternal grandmother lost more than one child. The Senior Cat knew nothing of this until after her death. It simply wasn't mentioned to him or his brother. I knew because my grandmother and I had talked about it when another relative lost a child. My grandmother had made the tiny white garment in which the child was buried. Although she seemed calm enough at the time my grandmother must have been in emotional turmoil as she made it. 

Yes, why bother? It seems to me that it is incredibly important to bother about such things. Parents, especially mothers, need this support - because it is support. It says, "Someone cares enough about your grief to spend some time making something special for you."

MsW's form teacher contacted me yesterday. The school's governing council has met and they have agreed that another tree should be planted in her memory. It will be placed in the "quiet corner" of the school grounds. It is a tiny memory gown too.

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