We buried her in the North Woods of Central Park, near our home. We named her Anastasia Frey: Anastasia for “resurrection” and Frey for the Norse god of fertility.
She was buried in the box which held our wedding bands–glossy brown and topped with a bow–which looks like an expensive box of chocolates. She was wrapped in an embroidered linen napkin. Also in the box was white, heart-shaped piece of coral from the shore of Oahu (where her father is from) and a smooth round piece of black basalt from the shore of Arch Cape, Oregon–picked up this summer when she was conceived.
I wrote this quote on the inside:
“The seed of God is in us. A pear seed will grow into a pear tree, a hazel seed will grow into a hazel tree, and a God-seed will grow into God.”
My husband wrote: “love, your father”
We buried her under a tree. I placed a white, round stone from the coast of Rhode Island on her little grave, marked with her initials and a heart.
Then we sang the Easter resurrection song, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”
My son Andrew died exactly ten years ago today, October 23, 1999, nine days after his first birthday. No one would describe me as emotional. And yet the wound still remains remarkably raw.
Andrew’s short life isn’t a frequent conversation any more, except inside our family, because there is nothing new to talk about. When parents talk about children, it is almost always about how they are changing. Andrew, however, is forever our one-year-old.
Unfortunately for me, memories seem to fade faster than the sense of loss. For my wife, neither the memories nor the pain have faded. I know my wife’s memories remain vivid because they are beautifully captured in a recent book by Jenny Schroedel called Naming the Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death. In the book, she recounts the experiences of a number of families who suffered losses like ours. Reading the book, I am amazed at all the things I have forgotten about both Andrew’s life and death.
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