I was away for a business trip. I took a quick flight home Sunday morning and was in the house by 10:30am or so. I thought we would be finding out from the doctor if we truly were pregnant early that afternoon. However, when I got to the kitchen, I saw a book about learning how to be a Dad and all the things I would encounter during pregnancy. I couldn’t believe it! What a wonderful surprise. I cried. My life was forever changed.
One random night in the middle of the night my wife tells me, she hasn’t felt the baby move, and it concerns her. I jumped up, and I listened to her belly, and I thought I heard a heartbeat. Just third-trimester nerves I chalked it up to. At the hospital the next day where my wife works she decided to go up to Labor and Delivery to get a quick Sonogram to put her mind at ease. The medical resident paged her attending. There was no heartbeat and based on the behavior of the staff my wife knew it. My wife was told to call her husband. She couldn’t. She just couldn’t. One of her colleagues called and said I needed to get to the hospital, something was wrong.
I raced to the hospital to have the news officially delivered to us. Every parent’s worst nightmare was now our reality. We lost our child. I called both sets of Grandparents into the room to tell them the news and that we were going to leave Francine’s work and go to the planned hospital to deliver there. I shared the news as bravely and strongly as I could, yet on the inside I had never felt such strong feelings of pain, loss, and agony. I didn’t know if this was even real.
How could It be? It must be a bad dream.
After the most miserable 30 hours of torture and pure hell, my incredible wife courageously delivered our son Joseph Louis on January 6, 2017. He was beautiful. My breath was taken away. It was pretty exciting to meet him after all this time of watching him on Sonograms. I was the proudest I had ever been. He must’ve been such a fighter. I was now a father and my life were forever changed.
About a week later we laid Joseph to rest with our priest in a beautiful cemetery nearby. It was the second worst day of my life. The time since of course has been beyond difficult, the millions of questions, the thousands of what if’s. The fact is a piece of our hearts was ripped out of our bodies that day we lost Joseph on this Earth.
As a reasonable person, I think it is safe to say that of course, the time after losing a child is a unique and agonizing situation. What I wasn’t prepared for was what does a parent do when they have to prepare for services and a final resting place for a deceased child? What are the steps? Who can help?
We’ve never planned a funeral service before, what makes a funeral home good? Do we bury or do we cremate? What do you mean you don’t have child or baby sized caskets or urns? Wait, we want an autopsy. Who transports a body to the Children’s Specialized Hospital? How much does everything cost? Are there support groups nearby? These are some of the types of questions and scenarios we are hoping Walk In Sunshine can help with if a family, unfortunately, does need this information.
This website is dedicated to Joseph and all the other little angels who were taken from us way too soon.
If you live in Westfield NJ and lose a child under the age of 18 Walk In Sunshine Charity will make a financial donation to a vendor to help offset the cost of the final resting place of the child. For example, we will pay a set dollar amount to a funeral home, cemetery, monument place for your child. We look forward to offering this same donation to neighboring towns in Union County NJ shortly.