It is said that there is nothing more painful than burying one’s own children – because no one expects to outlast their own kids!
So, when 21-year-old Charlotte Szakacs and her husband, 28-year-old Attila Szakacs of West Yorkshire, England, lost their baby, they both decided not to bury the child immediately, so they could still spend some time with the child and have some closure before letting her go forever.
The couple’s ordeal started when the 20-week scan revealed that the baby had unbalanced chromosome translocation which caused developmental problems.
Baby Evlyn was born in December 2016 with an underdeveloped brain and a malfunctioning heart. She also had narrow airways; thus, she couldn’t breathe on her own.
Because the child was so fragile, her parents couldn’t hold for her a long time.
“Not being able to hold her for so long was really difficult and even when we could hold her, the nurses had to pick her up and place her on us so you don’t really feel like you’re being a mum,” Charlotte said.
It was only when the ventilator was turned off and her breathing tube removed on January 10 that Evlyn’s parents finally got to hold her for a longer time – and it was truly heartbreaking.
“We got to hold her and cuddle her properly for the first time for an hour before they turned off the ventilator. She passed away just a couple of minutes after they took out her breathing tube. She was so weak she didn’t take a single breath,” the grieving mom revealed.
But because they never had the chance to really spend time with their baby, they were given the chance to ‘bond’ with her through a cuddle cot which is a machine that keeps the dead baby’s body refrigerated to delay the decay process.
“I’ve never really felt like a mum. I feel like when I was pregnant and I had all the stuff ready for Evlyn, but now I’m just not pregnant. It’s hard to explain, it doesn’t feel real – I’m just empty,” Charlotte admitted.
They stayed at the hospice where the cuddle cot gave them a chance to spend precious moments with their baby’s body for twelve days. Then, they were allowed to take the child home for four days.
It was bittersweet. They put Evlyn in her own cot in her own room and slept there with the baby. Then, they also took her on walks to the park before finally finding closure and getting her buried.
Exactly 16 days after she died, Evlyn was buried.
“The funeral was really difficult because then reality really started to kick in. Even though we’re in so much pain now, it is a relief to know that Evlyn is in a better place. I would love to have her here, I would give so much to have that, but we have no idea what her life would have been like. At least now she isn’t suffering,” Charlotte said.