Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A letter for Thomas

Today was already a bit of a blue day before I went to get the mail. I don't know why. That's part of the fun and excitement of grief I suppose - you just never know what mood you're going to be greeted with when you open your eyes in the morning. Today it was blue.

I stumbled my way through the day anyway, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, writing postcards I should have written from the place we made our escape to while we were actually there, making dinner, cleaning the kitchen. The usual.

And then I went to pick up the mail. Amidst the usual assortment of flyers, real estate brochures and coupons was a letter addressed to Mr. Thomas Z____. It stopped me dead in my tracks. A letter for Thomas - a letter for my boy.

It only took me a second to figure out what it was.

A few months after Thomas died we got a rather frantic sounding note from the city saying his birth hadn't yet been registered. Apparently the hospital should have taken care of it but didn't. I don't know why, but I would prefer to think it wasn't because he died. I would prefer to think it was just the oversight of a weary clerk who let it slip through his fingers somehow, because I hate the idea of the powers that be at the hospital thinking he wasn't worthy of being registered just because he lived for less than a day.

Anyway, after I got the frantic note I filled out the papers, paid the $25 fee to have the country recognize Thomas as a person born into it and sent it off. And promptly forgot about it. The letter that came for Thomas today was a notice that his birth had been registered.

Thomas is a legally recognized Canadian citizen. He's on record as being someone who lived, albeit painfully briefly.

The letter included instructions for ordering his birth certificate, if we so desired. I think I so desire. I want every single little scrap of paper I can have that proves my son was born. I want to have every bit of documentation I can to show to anyone who will look at it. I want more than just his death certificate (of which we have two for some reason) because I want to think of him as someone who lived, not just as someone who died.

I know ordering his birth certificate won't bring him back, but it's one more thing I can do. It's one more link to him.

My work isn't done yet. Thank God.


mscooter said...

As part of my job I used to help parents fill out similar forms and submit them for the hospital so I can guarantee you that it was not overlooked because Thomas had died. Birth certificates of babies who die are a top priority so it is a shame that Thomas' was missed. I am glad he has one now to go in with the rest of his memories.

I'm sorry today was blue - I'm hoping for magenta for you tomorrow... or puce - never underestimate the power of puce.

rachel said...

I'm sorry you had a blue day. I'd be honored if you would show me Thomas' birth certificate.

I hope you have a happy puce day. Though I must say I am partial to emerald green.

Hugs honey, we love you.

Bronwyn said...

That must have been quite a shock to see a piece of mail with your son's name on it! I'm glad that you'll have an official record of his life. Since our daughter was stillborn we have nothing official with her name on it (though she'll always feel like a real part of our family, regardless). I can understand wanting to have every possible physical reminder of his existence; mementoes can be very comforting sometimes.

I hope your day gets better. Kudos for getting those postcards off, even if it is post-hoc. I'm sure your friends and family will be happy to get a cheery message from you :)

kate said...

Hi....i understand wanting to have every piece of paper... since my son was born (stillborn) in France their system was different but he did get an official certificate. Also in order to bring his ashes back to the states i had to do alot of paperwork and all that has his name on it. It was quite a journey to get all that. My husband said that since his urn is so small, i should just put it in my pocket and forget the paperwork. But i wanted ALL the paperwork and indeed it is correctly done, i have a paper from the embassy with a seal and a red ribbon and his name. Official recognition, though it is a hollow victory.