Henry’s urn

My baby’s semi-final resting place is finally finished, done, and settled at home.
(Final will be with me when it’s my turn to go kaput.)

It was months in the making. I made it in my September 2012 pottery class, clueless as to what it would be used for (at the time, as far as I knew, I had a healthy baby growing inside me). I trimmed it at home, and glazed it in my most recent pottery class.

It took a long time from start to finish, but I finally brought it home yesterday.

Henry has his own little memorial set up in our bedroom, and it’s finally complete. We see him every night before we fall asleep, and every morning when we wake up. It’s wonderful to have him part of our daily lives.

Photo on 13-05-02 at 3.22 PM #2

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Ode to pottery (coping with clay)

Many years ago, I read a Stone Soup comic in the newspaper where one sister was teasing her younger sibling for doing a connect-the-dots picture. The mom was in the background and overheard the girls’ conversation. The younger sister was saying that life is unpredictable and uncontrollable, but with this connect-the-dots, she knew she was getting a dinosaur at the end – no surprises. Then you see the mom with a thoughtful expression, and in the next frame, the mom is doing a couple of connect-the-dots pictures with a satisfied and relaxed expression on her face. I’m going from memory, so I might be a little off, but it left an impression.

That’s how I feel about pottery. I can’t control the fact that my son was growing with an incurable genetic bone disease, but I can make a cylindrical cup with grooves or straight edges, or I can make a bulbous, round pot, or I can smash everything. To a degree, I’m in control. It’s one of the only things that has helped me feel like I can get a grip in the past month.

I was signed up for a fall pottery course and had taken my first class the week before our first ultrasound (the one where we didn’t get good news). I dropped out of the class, but thankfully, I have my own pottery wheel, so I can finish the pieces that I started.

My pottery wheel in my messy basement “studio”

One of the pieces I made in class without knowing – a simple little pot with a lid – will be Henry’s urn. I made it while I still had him with me, so finishing it up at home and carving in his name was a surreal experience.

Henry’s urn – with the lid tilted to display his name.

Pottery is my escape when I can’t handle whatever is going on at home. My wheel is in the basement, which isn’t a high-traffic area, so I am left in peace, and the whir and spin of the wheel helps me focus on the lump of clay waiting to be transformed. It’s a hobby I’m glad I kept up with.