When we left the hospital the last thing that we wanted to do was return to our home. Really who would want to go home. I couldn't imagine anyone who goes through this to want to return to the place that they just spent all of this time getting ready for a baby. Clothes out, crib/cradle out, feeding bottles in the cabinet, baby toiletries out, etc. It doesn't matter everywhere you go you have something out and ready for them. I looked up a couple of bereavement facilities around the nation and found one in Mesa, AZ and was astounded by the price at 700 dollars a night per person. I think this is part of the reason that starting Still Shining and helping sponsor retreats was/is so important to us. We want people to have a place they can go and get away with others that have traveled the paths with them. When something like this happens you join a family of people that you shouldn't have to join. You become a brotherhood and sisterhood of dads and moms that only have each other to lean on and who fully understand what it's like.
It was Friday night when we arrived home and decided to wait until the next day to get the kids. That night was a blur I know we talked about how to tell the kids what happened and that's about all I remember. I mean there are a lot of blurred days for that first month or so. We had decided to take the kids on a walk through the canyon park behind her mom's house. I remember Samuel even at 4 years old being so excited for his new baby sister. If there is one thing in life that is painful to watch is seeing your children emotionally hurt. So as we sat there and I read a book the hospital gave us called "We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead". This was the hardest thing I've ever read in my life thus far. Telling your children that your baby sister went to heaven rather than coming home. I remember Samuel just falling to pieces and Maxine wrapping him up as tight as possible. Vivien cried, but at a young age of two and a half I think it was more because brother was crying. So we sat there and cried just a short distance away from where we had taken Thanksgiving Day pictures just days before. Eventually we got up and walked back to Nana's house and got their stuff together to take them home.
Over the next week there would be lots of tears and some healing. We would get up every morning and sit there talking with a candle burning and sometimes soft music playing. We talked about everything that I feel we feared to talk about in our relationship prior to this happening. I think there was just this sense of what could be worse, lets just clear the air. What a healing time it was and what a time of getting to understand so many things. It truly was a time that brought forth communication like never before in our relationship.