This morning when I checked my email I found a beautiful note from a lady named Mary Lou. Rather than try to explain, I’ll just post the body of her note:
Thank you for donating the beautiful wedding dress to Gowns of Love and giving us the opportunity to turn your memories into blessings for a family that suffers the loss of a baby.
As you can see, the set we made from your dress contains a blanket, a keepsake satchel, two hearts, and two identical gowns (one for photos & burial and a second for the family to take home as a keepsake). The keepsake satchel will be used for hand prints, pictures, etc. that the hospital provides.
The hospitals requested some boy sets so one of our talented seamstresses added a vest to your set. I pray that this picture brings you joy and makes your heart sing as you think of the gift of love that you made possible.
I cried. I’m still crying. I can only imagine how devastating that loss is. I never had to suffer that pain, but I feel for anyone who has.
I didn’t set out to donate my dress to this group; I didn’t even know about it. I was cleaning out my storage locker and there was the giant eyesore containing my carefully preserved gown. It had been sealed up for over 2 decades, and it was in a box/coffin roughly the size of a Buick. The marriage was long over, I don’t have any daughters, and even if I did I wouldn’t saddle them with something that was my taste when I was in my 20s, a million years ago. It was time to cut it loose. The problem was, nobody would take it. Not the thrift store, not the second-hand shop, not even Goodwill.
It was a beautiful dress and I couldn’t just throw it away, so It sat in my trunk while I tried to come up with a solution.
During that time period I had a meeting at an office I’d never visited before. As I waited for my appointment I noticed a framed article on the wall with a photo of a wedding dress. I read the article and found my solution. It turned out that the woman who ran Gowns of Love was also a client at this office. I left my contact information and the kind people at the office who shared it with her. Within a day or two someone picked up the gown from my home (pre-Covid). They thanked me very much, and that was that.
I was so relieved to finally have that thing out of my life. The dress was beautiful. The wedding was beautiful. The memories are beautiful. But the giant, dusty box? Nope. I soon forgot all about it. Until this morning.
I’m so sorry to the family whose child will be buried in this gown. I’m so terribly terribly sorry. I hope this beautiful set that the talented volunteer seamstresses have created will provide at least a tiny crumb of comfort. I’m so glad my old gown will cradle an infant with its love.