When they did arrive it was dreadful My house was full of paramedics, firemen, police in uniforms and detectives in trench coats. I was of course feeling unbridled hysteria. I feel empathy for these first responders. Looking back they were maybe as shocked as I was, healthy babies don't just die. I remember one paramedic pretending to work on my Finley and she quietly pleading to her partner, " I don't know what to do".
Our Deaf community was also shocked but rose up. Every day we had someone with us. Maybe a hearing or deaf friend who was a teacher or a Deaf friend, maybe a parent or interpreter.
We had a private burial for family and the night before I realized I didn't have an interpreter for Haddy. I was sick with guilt and contacted the owner of SRI (local interpreting service) and explained I needed to hire someone and it might be tough because of the situation. I know a lot of interpreters around here. The interpreter that showed up was a woman I knew and respected. She donated her time. I will always be grateful for her generous graceful soul.
The superintendent officiated. The community of all different walks of life came forward to participate. We wanted to included every native language and all faiths because that was the fabric of our life. They had all been part of her joining this life and all part of her leaving. I still can't believe how much we were supported. It was beautiful. One friend presented an ASL poem about Finley. She asked the interpreters to not voice for her. I glanced over to a hearing friend while she expressed her feelings about my daughter and he was crying.
I imagine our hearing friends who showed up were nervous. On one level it is a funeral for a child. On another it was thick in Deaf culture. I am grateful they showed up. I am grateful for the unexpected support from our Deaf community at the state school. The state school has given our family an opportunity to be whole and include our son even when it is a dreadful task.
So since that day I tend to sit back and think a lot. I think about how we treat each other. How we sometimes judge even though we don't have the whole picture. I wonder how a community could rise and support when perhaps in the past individually these people were maybe not supported in the past. I will always marvel at the reaction of my other first responders.