“My little brother Isaac was born at 16 weeks and lived about 16 minutes outside the womb. He had long, narrow feet and facial features that took after dad’s side of the family. His little arms and legs fluttered about until he finally died, cradled in my dad’s hands.
The hospital refused to issue a birth certificate because he “wasn’t viable.“ They also refused to hold the body until we could arrange a funeral. A very kind nurse gave us gauze, a spit-up tray and a paper bag so we could all but smuggle him out, because if we had left him there, he would have been dissected by pathology and chucked in the incinerator.
Mom and dad came home from the hospital with my baby brother’s body around 4 or 5 in the morning, keeping him in the refrigerator until we could call the funeral home. My (oldest) younger brother and I kept the two little kids quiet and occupied while the parents caught up some sleep. When they woke up, I drove to the local craft store to pick up a small wooden box, as the smallest coffin the funeral home offered was designed for toddlers and was going to be huge.
About halfway home I realized that my baby brother’s coffin was sitting in a plastic shopping bag lying on my passenger seat.
I almost didn’t make it home because I was crying so hard.
Rest in peace, Isaac- so little but so loved- who lived 16 weeks and 16 minutes, but is not forgotten.”
Thanks to viterbofangirl.
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