October 4, 2013
We’ve been slowly working our way through the sympathy cards. And, yes, we’ve been picking through them. There are some people whose cards we know will be more difficult to read than others. But then there are the cards that have no return address or were delivered via Courtney or brought to the memorial service. These latter cards have my name on them, and unless I can recognize the handwriting, no other distinguishing characteristics. And even though we’ve tried to limit the number of cards we know will be difficult to read each time we sit down to open a few more… Well… Let’s just say, we’ve been wrong… On multiple occasions.
In addition to emails from friends (and friends of friends) to let me know that they, too, have suffered the heartbreak of stillbirth and are available to talk when I’m ready, we’ve opened cards we expected to be innocuous only to discover that this friend, too, once lost a baby. Or we’ve opened a card only to find a two-page letter inside. (And I confess that we’ve replaced both card and letter in the envelope and returned it to the pile to be read later.)
But it was the mail from Blue Cross that got me yesterday. There were two envelopes. The first was the EOB for my hospital stay. The second was clearly not an EOB, but I had no idea what the enclosed paperwork would entail. It was the document showing that Sofia’s insurance benefits began on September 13, 2013, and were terminated on September 14, 2013. Cheryl, our benefits specialist, had taken care of this for me. I knew that there was something insurance related for which she needed a copy of the certificate of stillbirth, but I didn’t really know why. I knew she’d said she’d take care of it, but I didn’t know what “it” was. Not until I opened that envelope. And I couldn’t be more grateful to Cheryl for doing this so that I didn’t even have to think about it.
I haven’t opened this card yet, but there was another completely unexpected piece of mail when my mom checked my box this morning. It was from the YWCA. A card. I’d been hoping to secure a daycare slot there. My mom left the director a voicemail explaining what had happened and that I therefore no longer needed to set up a site tour. Pretty sure that’s who the card is from based on the handwritten name above the return address.
I am, to say the least, overwhelmed. If I ever forget how much people care, how great the capacity is for people to love, I just need to go back and look at all of the cards, emails, Facebook posts. While in the hospital, I talked about whether or not I’d need to find a support group. I don’t need to. My support group is finding me.
P.S. As I was writing this, my mom got a call from Morrison’s to let us know that my pendant should be in this afternoon. I’ve been carrying Sofia’s ashes back and forth between my place and my parents’ each day. Until today. Today I gave her a kiss and left her sitting on my dresser. Whether this was prescience or coincidence I leave to the universe to decide. I’m just glad that I’ll have a small physical reminder of her to carry with me always.
P.P.S. Yes, I am still carrying her receiving blanket back and forth. Don’t plan on stopping that anytime soon!