Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tattoos, Tears and a Ritual

One of the other parents at the MISS Conference is a talented henna tattoo artist. She offered memorial tattoos for anyone who asked. I got this sweet little turtle and Sage's name on my leg.

The conference is officially over now. I have the rest of today to relax, and I leave for Eugene tomorrow morning. I am so glad I came here, and I have no doubt that I will come back next year.

The first two days were pretty exhausting. Imagine the intensity of emotion present in a room full of parents who have experienced the death of their children. At first I felt on the verge of tears almost constantly.

Then on Saturday morning, I woke up feeling strong and happy. I think maybe I felt so good because I was able to cry the day before. I always imagine that if I give into the urge to cry, I'll just never stop. But really it only takes a few minutes of good solid crying to release a heck of a lot of tension, and then I feel so much better.

Saturday was the 6 month anniversary of the accident. What a gift to be able to feel happy on that day! And what was really amazing was that Saturday evening all of the parents at the conference joined together for a candle-light memorial service for all our kids.

So, exactly 6 months after Sage's death, I was able to see his name on a giant projection screen, knowing his life was being honored along with those of so many other children. Like all the other parents, I lit a candle and said his name aloud for all to hear. I lit a candle for Dad, too. This ritual meant more to me than I realized it would.

A special thank you to my new amiga, Alejandra, who took the time to look at all of Sage's photos and held my hand when his name came on the screen.

And thank you to the parents who shared their children's stories with me. I carry the memory of your courage and kindness.


janis said...

That is a beautiful, beautiful tattoo, Jessie.
It sounds like the conference was very good for you... I wish I knew earlier, we could have met up somehow... now, I wish you a safe trip back.
continuing to hold you in my thoughts... xo

Kelly L-G said...

Jess, what an important meaningful experience it sounds like you had and what a beautiful tattoo for Sage. *Hugs*

Anonymous said...

Jessie, It makes me sad to think of all the parents who grieve over a lost child, but I am so happy you have found this group of people who can understand you in ways no one else can. May you and Michael and they find joy. Susan