Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Michael's death certificates were ready today.  I picked them up from the funeral home on my lunch hour.  Doesn't that sound too casual?  I have 5 copies.  I only have 2 copies of Michael's birth certificate.  Those numbers seem incongruous somehow.

I didn't know his time of death.  It was 11:46 am.  His occupation was listed as Student-Elementary.  His marital status was checked as Never Married.  

The cause was listed as:  complications due to right heart hypoplastic syndrome.  Interesting that they didn't give his heart defect the proper name. 

I have the last certificate that Michael will receive.  It is not a marriage certificate.  Or a diploma.  Or a certificate of participation in the astronaut camp he might've participated in this summer. 

It is a death certificate.  A signed, certified copy of the end of my son's life.  In black and white. On watermarked paper.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Jenn. It sounds so cold and impersonal, nothing like Michael's bubbly personality.
Love, Nicole

Anonymous said...

A beautiful, beautiful boy with a great big heart and an unsurpassed imagination. Kind to all. Loves his Mom and Dad. Knows what love means.
Loving you always,

Cindy said...

Oh, Jenn. What a day. What to say here? I have no words except to say, I'm so, so sorry.

Jenny Gruenewald said...

Hi Jenn, So hard to imagine what that must have been like to read. When I was at school today I saw the garden for Michael. It is beautiful. The stones are colorful, just like his personality! He would have loved it. Thinking of you everyday. Jenny Gruenewald

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenn,
This poem by W H Auden came to mind after I got the sad news about Michael. I first heard it recited in a movie ("4 Weddings and a Funeral") and the poem seemed to express how it feels to have to deal with a tragedy such as Michael's passing. I want to share it with you. I hope it helps.
Uncle Tom

*Funeral Blues*

by W H Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;

For nothing now can ever come to any good.