When we talk about the health professionals working with maternity services we don’t generally talk about the mortician. We really should though.
He gets a special mention because out of all the people on the day (and after) he was the one that took the time and did the best job of looking after us by fully acknowledging our terrible loss.
There was no sense of hurry or that we were a lower priority than those parents with live children. There was no awkwardness or rush. After seeing our battered little boys (I’m not convinced the surgeons took any great care when they were delivered) it was a relief to see someone treat them with kindness.
We had bought one of those kits to get foot and hand prints and he helped to do that for us. The best photos we have are the ones that he took. Most of our photos are terrible camera phone shots taken in sickly hospital light with trembling hands and few would be suitable for a photo frame.
He prepared them and posed them holding hands together in their moses basket.
When it came time for the final viewing the little room had been decorated with soft toys and teddy bears. It had an unintentionally macabre feel as though we had an audience of little button eyes but the gesture was appreciated. A bare room (pun not intended) would have been so much worse.
After we had spent our last time with boys, taking photos, holding cold, cold hands and kissing icy foreheads farewell we left the room.
Before we left to go home we thanked the mortician for all that he had done but with the hope that we would never have to see him again.
We did though. We bumped into him on the way to our rainbow’s ultrasound appointment. There was a moment of recognition followed by a careful wave of acknowledgement and the sincere hope that it wasn’t a harbinger of doom to come.