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I am so blessed that I got to see Dekar alive,  even though it was only for a short while.   I loved being able to hold him, kiss, smell, touch and talk to him.  From Dekar’s first struggling breaths to his last, he gave his all to us.  We were able to lavish him with love, and every moment was cherished.  

I’ve shared a few pictures and the email I sent after his birth and the events that followed.  I had written much of that while in the hospital the day after Dekar died.  The quietness in the hospital room was so loud that is was screaming at me.  It stinks to recover from a c-section, but at least you get to oogle at a beautiful baby.  That day, June 28th,  I woke up alone and ate breakfast with no baby to stare at in a bassinet.  Cortney was home with the other kids, so the silence was deafening. 

I am constantly aware of the fact that my baby isn’t here with me. I came home with empty arms and the burden of those empty arms is a heavy one. 

Nobody can feel the load I carry any more than they can see the wind blow.  But the pain I feel and the emptiness that has been left in my heart is real and I am always aware of it.  I am also aware that I am not the person I once was, even though it may seem so from the outside.

To everybody else, it seems that life goes on.  That is the hardest part for me.  My arms are empty, but my hands are busy.  Very busy.  There are still the regular, daily needs that have to be attended to.  Since my hands are busy it appears that life is continuing on as normal.  But it’s not.

When Dekar took his last breath, he also took part of me with him.  A person simply isn’t the same after they’ve held a lifetime in their arms.  Life may go on, but it will never be the same.

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It’s hard to know what to write for an obituary when a whole life is encompassed in just over eight hours.  The funeral director didn’t handle many baby/children’s funerals (thank goodness) and he didn’t have a template to work with that was suitable for an infant death.

I did some research on the internet, thinking it would be quite easy to find a guideline for an infant/child obituary.  I was saddened that there was little to no help.  We didn’t plan to have a service, since we felt that we had our own private time right at the hospital.  We decided to have him cremated because we don’t have roots in this town and didn’t want to end up leaving him should we ever move.  But I still wanted to honor Dekar and the life he gave us, even though it was short.  I wrote up an obituary that said everything I felt was appropriate.  The funeral director fixed it a bit, and then it was sent off to the newspaper, both online and print.  I didn’t realize there was a price associated with submitting an obituary to the newspaper.  We decided to just post it in the local paper, who also posted it online.  This made it convenient to share with the many family members and friends who are out of town.

Below is Dekar’s obituary.  For our situation it covered the basics.  Some parents add a special note to their baby or a poem.  Some share a picture.  Some may want to include the reason for death.  (I am not sure why I didn’t include that—if I could do it over, I would add that he had Trisomy 18 and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.)

Dekar Ezri Schmidt passed peacefully in the arms of family on June 27, 2008.  He was born at 10:46 a.m. and met the eyes of Jesus at 7:10 p.m. the same day.

Dekar was the son of Cortney and Marge Schmidt of Atwood (Ellsworth).  He is survived by eight siblings, Hali, Aaron, Solomon, Eli, Rachel, Jadon, Melchizedek, and Isaiah, all at home.

His paternal grandparents are Jerry and Judy Schmidt of Tomahawk, Wisc.; and maternal grandmother, Laura Pehoski of Stevens Point, Wisc.

Dekar gave us a lifetime of love during his short time on earth.

The Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation provided a volunteer photographer to record his short life with us.  In lieu of flowers we would be pleased to have you support their mission to help other grieving parents through their remembrance photography at: The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, 7800 S Elati St. #111, Littleton, CO 80120, or:  http://nowilaymedowntosleep.org/pageDisplay.php?page=42. Winchester Funeral Home in Charlevoix is handling the arrangements.

If you are in a situation that you are using the above as a guideline, I am very sorry and my heart goes out to you.  I pray that this will serve to take away a little bit of added burden associated with your loss. 

Since there is a need, I am working on a separate page of sample obituaries which other parents have graciously offered to share.  I am updating it as often as a new obituary or memorial is offered. 

 

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