Preparing To Commemorate Nathanael’s First Birthday


He was our little fighter,

He survived every test in the womb,

Only at the penultimate step,

Did he meet his final doom.

Now he’s gone and life’s settled down,

We have time to plan and prepare,

Looking forward to his first birthday,

Is a joy all too rare.


OF RECENT, our son has taken to watering his deceased younger brother’s potted plant; our choice of way to commemorate Nathanael Marcus’ life.

For those out of the loop, or new to the estate of our lives, our son, Nathanael, was diagnosed with Pallister-Killian Syndrome as a result of tests prompted by abnormalities discovered at the 19-week scan. We knew from about 24-weeks that our son would not survive; that he simply would not have enough developed lung to breathe. Because of our son’s rare condition, he was producing far too much amniotic fluid, so my wife had no less than eight amnioreduction procedures to drain the excess fluid – 17-litres were drained in total. We made weekly visits to the hospital for the last three months of the pregnancy. Being that Nathanael could have been born anytime, it was amazing that my wife’s uterus lasted until 36-weeks gestation. Unfortunately, the birth didn’t work out as we hoped; Nathanael was not born to die in our arms, instead he was stillborn.

As we prepared for Nathanael’s birth, we wanted a plan for commemorating his life. A potted plant was purchased, as was a beautiful big blue square pot.

As I alluded to above, I’m amazed how drawn to watering this particular plant our son is. There are also another couple of potted plants given to us at the same time, and he waters these ones next. It’s as if he knows who they are for.

We plan to prepare the plant to be potted on what would be Nathanael’s first birthday (October 30, 2015) with his ashes intact below the plant. It gives me such comfort to know that we will not sprinkle his ashes – that we will retain them in the special urn the Cemetery gave us.


We look forward to Nathanael’s first birthday because we are planning a special commemoration; the burying of his ashes. Nurturing Nathanael’s plant is becoming quite a family passion.

There is purpose in all our traditions and keepsakes. They give us, the living, meaning as we continue striding forward in our lives.

© 2014 S. J. Wickham.


Source by Steve Wickham

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