I thought it would be nice to share the ways we remember Josephine. If you are facing a prenatal life limiting diagnosis, this may help you get some ideas for things you may want to do. It can be hard to deal with all at once so for us, it has evolved over time.
I didn’t want a room full of mementos or Joey stuff all over the house, we have a photo and her prayer card in our bedroom. On our bookshelves, we have her memory box and that is it. We have ended up making little traditions that I feel allows us to think about her in our own way.
The anniversary of Josephine’s birth and death will always be our family day. This means – no work, no school – nothing but an appreciation for the the importance of family and beauty of life, – no matter how short. We go to Mass, visit the cemetery and spend the day together. Just peace, quiet and respect for the little girl that helped make us the family we are today.
We have Mass celebrated in her name on her birthday and also on the Feast day of St Josephine Bakhita and the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
We make a day of it when we go to the cemetery. So we set aside Holy Saturday for her Easter visit and for the planting of a fresh posy of flowers for her. We visit on Josephine’s day which is when we decorate for Christmas and then we do a visit in summer to again, plant a fresh posy and tend to her gravesite. We really look forward to the cemetery visits – it is just so beautiful and we love cleaning and making her resting place as beautiful as she deserves.
Josephine’s Memory Box
We have a memory box filled with ‘everything’ Josephine. From the blanket she was wrapped in when she was born, the holy water that she was baptized with, her ultrasound DVDs, her nightie she wore that night, the stethoscope Dr Parravicini used to listen to hear heartbeat slowly fading. I have been pretty adamant that I didn’t want Joey’s ‘stuff’ all over the place, especially for Francis’ sake. I wanted it to be somewhere safe and where we knew everything was. All her little mementos are in this memory box and it sits on our bookshelves as her little place in our home.
Here is her memory box – (that is a reflection of our lamp in the photo!)
Josephine’s Memory Book
Not long after her diagnosis, Dr Parravicini gave us this book. I have just recently taken to filling it out and putting in her photos. This is just an extra little thing that we have so that she has a baby book the same as Francis’ has.
We continue to keep Josephine in our family prayers every single night and never stop asking her to pray for us as well!
Just Joey Rose
When we were expecting Josephine, and old friend shared with us on Facebook that there was a rose called ‘Just Joey’. Mum and dad have this planted at their property and we hope that when we one day hopefully have a garden, we’ll plant Just Joey roses there.
As you can see, she is still part of us, even though she isn’t here but we aren’t wallowing in her memory. From the onset, I wanted to focus to be on “She was part of us, but we always must move on” and for us, we feel this is what allowed us to get back up, dust ourselves off and get on with life and becoming parents again.