Sawyer’s Story (part 15): The Voicemail

April 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Grief | 5 Comments

On Sunday we were finally able to see Sawyer.  He was now at the funeral home.  A shomer was reading psalms beside his tiny casket.  Evan and I walked across the room and I knew that no matter how long I held Sawyer or how loudly I spoke to him he was not going to wake up.  We knelt beside his casket and tried anyway.  We begged, we pleaded and we cried.  He was so very still. 

My arms ached to hold Sawyer.  Matt, the funeral home director had told me the day before that I may not want to hold Sawyer.  He told me what I already knew – bodies change after death.  Evan had decided that he was not going to hold Sawyer again.  He wanted to remember the feeling of holding Sawyer when he was alive.  I was not sure yet that I could accept that 10:45 pm on Friday was the last time I would hold our baby boy.  I did not hold him on Sunday.  Evan and I agreed that I would think about holding Sawyer and if I decided I wanted to I could on Monday.

Matt had also told us that we should not remove Sawyer’s hat or any of his clothing.  Sawyer’s body had in fact arrived on Saturday but they needed time to get him ready for us to see him.   I wanted so badly to touch his hair, his toes, his stomach.  I could not. 

My mind continued to search frantically for a reason that Sawyer could have died.  I thought also about what had happened to Sawyer since that time we had seen him in the ER.  We had been told that he was brought to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.  Who examined him?  What did they do to him that I could no longer look at his body or even touch his hair?

I am not sure how long we stayed with Sawyer but eventually we went home.   The twins, my parents, Uncle Zach, the dogs and a voicemail were waiting for us when we arrived.  The voicemail was from the medical examiner.   She had called with some preliminary information from the autopsy.  I hung up the phone and immediately called the number she had left in the message.  Someone picked up the phone immediately.  It was an operator.  The doctor who had called had just left.  I should try again tomorrow. . .


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  1. Lanie, I cannot imagine the trauma you and Evan went through. I hope and pray that putting it into words helps you somehow. My thoughts are with you now and always.
    Love, Amy

  2. Oh Lanie, I am so sad for all you’ve had to go through. It is just totally unfair.

  3. It really is so unfair. I wish your babies were in your arms where they belong. Hugs and prayers for you and your family.

  4. Lanie, this must have been so hard for you and Evan. Hopefully your writing is allowing you to purge some of the sad memories, while holding on to the wonderful moments.

  5. Lanie,
    I stumbled upon your blog when I was searching for an article about epidurals and transient tachypnea. I had no idea what I was about to uncover.

    Two years ago I was working as a technician at a hospital pharmacy over my winter break from college, and we had a 24 week baby born at our hospital. As one of the technicians, it was my job to make deliver his IV’s, TPN’s, and refill his “code blue” medication tray the many times he needed it. Each time I made a delivery to the NICU, I tried to sneak a peak of him, to check on how he was doing. I was absolutely astounded at how tiny and strong this little boy was. A few days later while I was delivering his nightly medications, the nurse told me he had passed away only a few minutes before. I was not his family, a close friend, or even a caregiver but I was deeply affected by this little boy. I immediately began to research the growing realm of NICU pharmacy, and decided to pursue a career trying to help these little children beat the odds.

    I am now a second year pharmacy student, and I haven’t forgotten “my mission.” I have always wanted to tell “baby T’s” parents that their son had a true impact on my life in only four days, and I am so grateful to have “met” him, but I know that HIPAA would never allow me to do that…but I can tell you. Your son’s realm of influence was even larger than you know, and just like “baby T’s” parents will never know of his impact on me, there is a person out there whos life was irreversibly changed because of each of your boys. Thank you so much for posting this site, and please know that being able to write this has been so therapeutic.

    I hope this brings you only comfort,

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