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100 Lives

It is said that the death of a baby touches at least 100 people.
This poem is written by one such person,
Don Hammond, Pastor, United Christian Church, Reton, WA.

One Hundred Lives...

Got back to the office: feels good, safe, warm.
Got a headache: a cup of coffee might help.
Got a phone call a couple of hours ago: police
department, needed a chaplain, a SIDS death.
Got in the car, went fast. In minutes there I was:
the father, grandfather, police, lots of police. "Make
way for the chaplain" their bodies spoke,
getting out of my way. Nothing between me and
the mother, except the baby she held.
There wasn't much I could say, so I didn't. Put my
hand on her back, watched and listened.
She touched the baby everywhere: ears, hair, feet,
fingers, toes...
"She's getting cold," the mother said. "She used
to laugh when I touched her feet."
"I loved her so much."
Shortly after, a young police officer began to weep:
"I do this about once a week and I can't stand it.
My baby is four months old."
The medical examiner came:
"Been doing this for 24 years, now I have grandbabies.
I don't like it."
It was time to take the dead baby away. The young
mother went back to say one last "good-bye". Her words
made it my turn to cry. Opening the blanket she wept saying:
"I miss you so much already."

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