Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Picking out the headstone

February 16, 2011

We went to the cemetery and ordered Toby’s headstone over the weekend. We also paid off the remainder of the funeral bill. It felt really good to order the headstone. I hate going to the cemetery and visiting the grave without there being one. It makes me feel like we’re being cheap. Even though they didn’t charge us for anything but their expenses when it came to his funeral, it was still a lot of money and it took some time to put it together. Now, it’s all paid for though.

I would really, really like to pay Pete’s dad back for the part that he paid. He paid for half of the funeral but with money being such a big issue to him (he keeps hanging the airline tickets over our head that we bought when we went to England even though Pete put them on his own credit card) and in an e-mail to Mom he told her that he was sure that she paid for most of our things. (Not true, either. Mom has done stuff for us like buy us a washer and dryer and paid for Sam’s passport but we pay our own bills and we’ve never asked for money.) So I would like to repay the funeral expenses so it’s not hanging over our heads. That is not financially feasible at the moment, but I might get some good jobs in that will let us do it.

Sometimes people do things because they really want to. Other times, people do things so that they can tell everyone else about the great things that they did. I think that has been something that’s embarrassed me since Toby died. A lot of people did things anonymously (we figured out who they were for the most part) or did things quietly. Other people broadcasted what they were doing for us all over their blogs and Facebook and that was kind of embarrassing. It’s one thing for me to write about my mental state. It’s another thing for someone else to write about it.

I am going to have a hard time being a celebrity with all those tabloids.

The headstone should be on the grave in about 4 weeks. It will be there just in time for Memorial Day so my family will be able to see it when we visit the graves. It’s a nice stone. We went with a medium sized one and it has the picture of a teddy bear in one corner and baby shoes in the other. We also got his full name to fit, no small feat considering how big his name is.

Right now his grave is the most colorful one in the cemetery. We decorated it for Valentine’s Day and it has a wreath, a vase of flowers, three flower arrangements, and two ceramic angels on it. It also has a little stuffed dog with a heart on it. You can see his gravesite from the road since it is so busy. It might be a little tacky but I don’t care. 

While we were there, we found a headstone that we liked. Okay, so I did. It had an elaborate etching of a covered bridge. Given my obsession with “The Bridges of Madison County” I thought this would be perfect for me. Then, I saw one with a weeping willow on it and I got excited. I could have the weeping willow next to my covered bridge! Pete went outside and walked around and when he came back he was excited because he saw one that HE liked. It was the etching of a couple walking down the road together toward a church. He said that he liked it, other than the image of the church, and that he’d like to have it on our tombstone. I said fine. They can be walking down the road toward my covered bridge and weeping willow tree.

We need to go ahead and mark our place in the cemetery. It’s getting a little crowded in there. My family alone will fill the rest of it up, with everyone wanting to be around Nana.

We got a package in the mail the other day. It’s a stuffed bear that is about the same length and weight that Toby was when he died. At first, it freaked me out to hold it and I didn’t want to touch it. It reminded me of a corpse. Then I held it for a few minutes and it was kind of nice remembering the weight of a baby again. It’s from a company that makes teddy bears for people who have lost infants. It was sent anonymously. Our friend said that her friend sent it to us and that she got Toby’s measurements from Mom and asked Mom if it was okay to send it to us but Mom doesn’t remember this. She said that if she did she thought she would have said no. The idea of taking Toby’s measurements after he died (the only way that Mom could have done it) so that a bear could be made really freaked me out and I had a major panic attack about it last night. The more I thought about it though the more I like the bear. Pete really likes him, too. We carry him around the house and rock him. I wouldn’t say that it’s for everyone and if you are considering buying one for someone I would definitely talk to them about it first, but for us it’s helpful. For the first few weeks not having anything to do with my arms was really bad. I carried a pillow around. Having something to pick up and hold onto like a bear might have been helpful.

I went through Toby’s clothes in his room and separated things into items that still have tags, items that can be used for a girl, and items that we can give to the consignment shop. People have told us to just use the boy things for our girl but I don’t want to do that. Some are okay, but she needs her own things. And as this is our only girl I want her to have nice, girlie things-not a bunch of neutral stuff. With the items that have tags on them I am going to give them to some of my friends who are having boys.

The clothing that Toby actually wore I put in my cedar chest. I didn’t do his dirty laundry and instead put them in a zippered bag and stored them, too.

I am not sure what we are going to do with the furniture yet but we’re not going to sell it or give it away. We are buying all new furniture for Iris and painting the room for her, too. We have found the set that we are getting. It will be hard to buy it right now, though, because we won’t have anywhere to put it until we clear out Toby’s room and I am not ready to do that, yet. On the other hand, I do really want to get her stuff.

We will get the autopsy report back soon. The holdup was the fact that they didn’t have his social security number. We have no idea how long it has been completed and waiting. I’m a little nervous to get it back and see the actual cause of death, but it will also be good to have that taken care of, too.

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