Here I am sitting in these cold chairs in a small room with my Mum and Husband by my side. A kind man was sitting opposite us, explaining what we needed to think about for our son’s funeral.
It was like I wasn’t really there. My son was gone he was gone for good. Here I am sitting in a room talking about things like what handles would go on his coffin. What flowers we would like. It seemed so clinical and stiff. My eyes were fuzzy and I could barely breathe.
The kind man then took us into a room filled with coffins. A gasp escaped from my mouth… That’s when I thought “Oh my God, this is real.” It was a sight I hope to never see again. What do you say at that moment? My husband broke the silence with the words, “I will make Titan’s coffin.” And he did. He spent two days making this beautiful coffin. I think it’s what saved him, it was his craft, he needed to do this for his son. He needed to be his Dad and make him something strong for him to rest in.
All I did was sit at my parents. It was like I was drifting in and out of a coma. Thoughts would whirl through my head. “Is this real? Am I living a nightmare?”
It was hard for my parents not to only suffer the loss of their grandchild, but to watch their daughter be in such deep grief. I remember at one point when I was howling (and I mean howling - it was this deep sound that came from within me - it was like nothing I have ever heard). I was in my childhood room, curled up on my bed, and my Dad must have heard me. He sat down and said, “Kristy, Titan was strong. He was so big, he had a presence and he was here to teach us something, he had a really strong soul…. He wanted to go Kristy, he was too good to be here, he needed to go… He was needed somewhere else”. Those words saved me.
Titan’s Grandma - my Mum - decided she would make him a bed, complete with a mattress, sheets and a pillow and a beautiful little beanie for him. She wanted to do this for her Grandson. She wanted to make sure he was comfortable and would rest in peace.
Finally the day came that we would lay our son to rest. It was like no other I have ever experienced. It was his day. There would be no 5th birthday, no 18th, no 21st, this was the one and only day he would ever have. This was it. It was his.
We went to the funeral place. Titan was there. Laying in his coffin – the coffin his dad had made. Laying on the mattress and pillow his Grandma made, with a blanket covering his little body. We kissed his cold skin and said goodbye.
We drove to the cemetery in the back of the funeral directors car, the two men dressed in suits sat in the front while my husband and I sat in the back. My husband gripped his baby son’s coffin tightly in his hands. We arrived at his place of rest and there was a sea of people. All of these people came to say goodbye to Titan. I felt this strange sense of happiness for him. So many cared, this was his day and they were there for him.
My husband and I walked down the path with his coffin in our arms. The priest (the same man who christened me) was waiting at the end of the path, dressed in a beautiful gown. He grabbed my hand and led me to my seat.
I sat down staring at this hole. I remember taking my shoes off and burying my feet in the earth, like somehow that would make me closer to him. I needed to be closer.
It was surreal - it was like I was burying him, yet he was standing beside me. He was the one that gave me the strength that day. He kept me going.
To this day my body yearns for him. Some days sounds come deep from within me - sounds of complete despair. Seven years have gone by and to this day I miss him so much.
I remind myself it was his journey. It was his choice. I know I will see him again. He is my angel in heaven. He visits me some days the wind blows, or his star twinkles and I know he is saying, “I love you Mum and I’m here”.
“I love you Titan Vallely, you were the one who gave me the best gift anyone ever could give”.
As I said in my first post, there are thousands of families that have gone through the tragic loss of a baby. Finally my son has a voice, finally he can tell HIS story. Thank you for reading…
This is a website I would recommend for anyone suffering from miscarriage, still birth neonatal and infant death: www.sands.org.au
I would like to aknowledge that Burkins Funeral Directors didn’t charge me for their services. Aaron Burkin was so kind to my family - he is one of life’s true gentlemen. It has been seven years Aaron and I have not forgotten your kindness.