Losing a Child

29 Apr Losing a Child

Designing an infant urn was a challenge. My heart went out to the young woman who contacted me  shortly after her first child was stillborn. “I’m so glad I found you,” she said. “This is exactly what I was looking for. “Lucy had Turner syndrome,” she said, explaining it’s a chromosomal condition that affects development in females. “I guess a two inch urn is all I need,” she said.

That won’t provide enough room to honor the baby,” I told her. “I think we should use a six inch urn.”

“But all I have are her tiny footprints,” she lamented. You usually use photos. I don’t have any. “What would make this an artistic urn?”

“Write what you feel for her,” I suggested,” and that’s what we’ll use. “A six inch urn will be large enough so you can open it and insert notes in the future if you choose to.” She clearly responded to that idea. Later I read that grief counselors suggest this to others in her position: “Write about your feelings in a journal. You may want to write a letter to your baby.” The next tip was “Make something for your baby such as an album, or plant a tree in the baby’s memory, or anything that makes you feel that you have done something.”

My approach to cremation urns is to have them be part of the grieving process with the person commissioning me being involved. The collaboration is not only artistic, but emotional. I realize that I’m being entrusted with something profoundly important.

She told me the logo for Turner syndrome is a purple butterfly so I suggested she write on white paper with a purple felt tip pen. I was excited to find tiny, purple glass butterflies that I included in the pique assiette shards of plates that were the colors she’d requested – lavender, cream and pale green.

Mother’s Day was two weeks off. That was certain to be even more difficult than all the other days so I promised myself she would have the infant urn by then. And she did.

We never met, but we did become Facebook friends, and I was thrilled to learn when she posted that she’d had a baby.