Friday, August 10, 2018
Seeing Your Child's Name
When I showed my friend Jane the plaques we made for her daughter's memorial garden, she loved them. Carl does the work, so I took no credit, except I did screw in the eye hooks and attached the chain to one of them. You would think I was constructing a new house; it took me much longer than it would have taken an average person to do that task of placing the eye hooks, drilling the hole, screwing them in. But enough about my lack of skill and slowness. What impressed me and will stick with me about giving the two garden plaques to Jane was what she said after she said she loved them.
"It's so nice to see her name."
A name. Katelyn. When Katelyn was born, Jane came up with the spelling of the name, so not only was it her daughter's name, Jane had a part in crafting it.
In the bereaved parents' writing workshops I facilitate, I often have parents say their child's name aloud. All together we say our child's name, like one big burst of sunlight. Sometimes we go around the room and take turns saying the name of our child. It's a sacred time.
Whenever we get an order at our shop, Carved By Heart, and the buyer has the name Daniel, I love seeing it on the order form. My heart does a little flip. This customer is special to me because of his name. It doens't matter than I don't know the customer personally, I just love seeing his name. After the item is created and I've wrapped it up, I get to write Daniel on the package. My son's name. My son who is no longer here.
So when Jane ran her fingers over her daughter's engraved name and smiled, it was a powerful moment.
We do need to see and speak our child's name. Often. We don't get to call them to dinner anymore, watch them play, or wrap a gift for them. But we can give ourselves a gift by saying his/her name. Aloud. We can have it engraved into pine and see it, too. Our new butterfly garden plaques are now at our shop on Etsy.