Dressing Kellen was an incredible experience.
When it was time to go my mom helped me into the car and drove to Lucas' work to pick him up. He worked a few days to try and get as many hours in as possible before we go to Colorado to bury Kellen. I hate that he feels the stress of finances when I know his heart is broken. It is a distraction for him and it helps him feel needed, but I hate it. As he walked out the door I just wanted to scream at the world for being unfair. I wanted to beg our apartment to be free and gas to be free and all our bills to disappear so that my husband can have some time to stay home and mourn the loss of his second child. We learned a long time ago, though, that the world does not stop turning just because your world has crumbled.
So we pulled up to his work and he came outside and hopped in the car. He rubbed my shoulders as he got in and said hello.
"I'm so nervous, hun."
He said, "Me too, Amber."
He and my mom made small talk and I stared out the window and tried to prepare myself to see Kellen's little body again. My anxiety level was through the roof.
My mom had spent the entire day before hunting all over Idaho Falls for a small enough little suit for Kellen to wear and there is nothing that would be small enough in time. He was only 3 pounds and all the newborn christening outfits out there would drown him. She finally found a preemie outfit that was baby blue and had a little jacket with planes on it. His tiny onesie and booties would probably also be too big, but he would look cute anyway.
Once we got there Lucas opened my door and helped me get out. He held my hand and we walked into the funeral home. I realized I had never been here before, but Molly had been here. I told Lucas I was glad to be somewhere Molly had been. He smiled.
A nice old man came and greeted us and asked us to sit at an old desk in a back room. He talked to us briefly about what we were going to do and how we were going to pay for their services and if we would be taking Kellen to Colorado (He remembered about Molly). Then he had us follow him to the front of a chapel where there were 3 tiny white caskets on the front pew with little cards in them telling how much they cost. I forced myself not to cry and not to get mad that people make money off death.
We talked for a while and picked a tiny casket that was nice but more masculine than the one we had purchased for Molly. Then the old man asked if we were ready to dress our son. I got scared and became super indecisive and mumbled out like 5 answers. Lucas and the man weren't sure what to make of it and the guy goes "I just dont want to make you walk, and he's right there" while pointing to a curtain behind us. I was ready to see him.
We walked over to the curtain and the old man pulled it open. Laying on his back with a white blanket covering him was my beautiful baby boy. He looked so adorable, and his hair looked so blonde under the lights beside the table. The old man left us alone.
The actual dressing was very spiritual and reverent. It was incredibly difficult and I cried a lot. It was, however, so sacred to us that I do not want to give all the details here.
After we finished dressing Kellen and spending time as a family (I am sure Kellen and Molly were there with us), we asked my mom if she wanted to come see him. Soon she came into the room and we all cried and talked about how cute he was. He looked so adorable in his outfit it was hard to believe he wasn't just sleeping. After a minute my mom said goodbye to him and left crying so we could say goodbye, too.
We sat quietly and I held his tiny hand for a while. Lucas rubbed my back.
Lucas took my breath away when he said the most beautiful thing,
"It's not goodbye or even see you later, it's always forever and ever now."
What a wonderful dad.
I left feeling happier and reassured that we need not say goodbye to our baby. He is with us all the time. Forever and ever.